As summer emerges, I’m always looking for lighter dishes to prepare, and peas always make for a fresh dish. However, I think I speak for some of us when I say that sometimes a salad just doesn’t cut it. A potato salad, however, guarantees some substance and fulfillment which is why I love this combination of fresh greens and starch!
To me the watercress and mint is what really set this recipe over the top! I’d say you can adjust the proportion of peas to potatoes depending on how much starch you’re really in the mood for.
Pea & Potato Salad // serves six
Original Ingredients ::
- 1 quart water
- 1/2 pound small new potatoes
- 4 cups shelled spring peas or two 10-ounce packages frozen baby peas
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 medium bunches of watercress, large stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped (2 cups)
Adjustments to Recipe ::
- Swap out leeks for green onions (this was out of necessity as the local marked didn’t have any leeks – the texture of green onions is similar, although it certainly alters the flavor a bit)
- Add more lemon and olive oil at the end when serving (because I’m a lemon and olive oil addict – and I like bite).
- Personally, I would also do less potato – I like the abundance of peas in the dish.
- A dash more mint.
- I left some of the watercress unchopped so that it felt more like a salad.
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the potatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook over moderately high heat until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a plate and let cool, then halve or quarter any large potatoes.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the potato water and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook over moderately high heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the leek and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the potato cooking water, then drain the peas and add them to the skillet.
- Add the potatoes and the reserved cooking water to the skillet and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring. Add the mint, chives and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the watercress. Transfer the vegetables to a warmed bowl and serve.
Obviously we didn’t have the leeks, so I basically skipped that step and threw the peas, potatoes and reserved cooking water to the olive oil and butter to mix the flavors together. I added the chives, lemon juice and seasoning in the pan, but transferred it into a bowl before adding the watercress and mint. I like to keep both of those fresh! In fact – if you wanted to, you could let the hot mixture cool to room temperature before adding these elements just to keep them from wilting too much – it all depends on how fresh you want the dish to feel.
*recipe adapted from food&wine // photography and styling by cassandra lavalle for coco+kelley