When you think of summer, what comes to mind? Along with a blessed relief from winter, the sun’s rays on my forearms, hair getting incrementally lighter between June and August, skin getting incrementally darker between June and August, reading the paper and sipping my morning matcha on the patio, The Girls enjoying their beloved swims in the pond, and basically waking up happy every day–well, along with all of that, I also think of three-bean salad.
Okay, so maybe that’s not the first thing that comes to mind for most of you when you ponder the hot season (maybe lying by the pool? BBQs? Bike rides in Central Park? Outdoor concerts? S’mores?). For me, though, that classic salad is a token of days gone by, when my grad school pal Irish Eyes would hold her annual end-of-summer party.
Irish Eyes and I met during our Masters’ degree at University of Windsor, and then, by chance, we both registered at the University of Toronto to pursue our PhDs. It was here in Toronto that we became fast friends. Even though she was 20 years my senior, IE was incredibly youthful in everything from her giddy laugh when flirting with the male grad students to the fact that she zipped around campus on a racing bicycle (with scandalous short-shorts to match), to her nearly waist-long blonde hair, to her ability to spend hours on the phone gabbing about our professors (this was before the days of cell phones or texting, you understand). Amid the sea of poseurs and pretentious professor-wannabees, IE was a breath of fresh air, and my best ally.
Every year at the end of August, IE and her husband threw a massive party for all the grad students as well as the profs who were young and/or cool enough to accept their open invitation.
IE and her hubby lived in an old stone house near High Park that had been built in the 1950s and still retained an intact bomb shelter in the basement. In their inimitable style, they decked it out with pea green walls, beanbag chairs and a shag rug. For some reason, the shelter was always the room in which we stragglers ended up in the wee hours of the morning, most likely because it was eerily quiet in there, the five-foot concrete walls engulfing any ambient noise after our night of loud music and dance.
By then, most of the crowd had gone home and IE’s two kids had put themselves to bed (I always thought that, if I’d ever had kids, I’d want them to be like IE’s children: incredibly self-possessed, they chatted amiably with the adults, took turns with us on the dancefloor, nibbled on chips and dip, and then, around 9:30 or 10:00 PM, announced, “Well, we’re going to sleep now,” and trudged up to their bedrooms to tuck themselves in. Last I heard, one was an intern at a downtown Toronto hospital, the other studying to be a criminal lawyer.).
And there, amid the vinyl record albums stacked against the open brick walls, the flickering candles on every surface, the ceiling fan and the bomb shelter-cum-1980s décor was a buffet table heaving with bowls of chips and dip, trays of raw vegetables and tzatziki, plates piled high with home-baked chocolate chip cookies, half-drunk bottles of wine and a massive bowl of IE’s signature bean salad. Everyone raved about it. It just never felt like summer without it.
Well, sad to say that IE and I lost touch a few years back. I’ve been making that bean salad ever since my grad school days, and I finally decided that this year, I’d aim for something a little different. When I spied this pea salad in my Australian Women’s Weekly New Salads cookbook, I knew I’d found my updated legume-based summer salad. Split peas offer up a good source of protein (16 g for just one cup cooked), with a delectable, subtle sweetness and delicate shape. With just a few ingredients, this salad is also incredibly easy to make.
So now, there’s a new quintessential summer salad in my life. I’ll bring it to picnics and buffets and serve it at my summer parties. I may not be able to offer my guests a bomb shelter for late-night conversation, but at least the hue of this salad spurs memories of those pea-green walls in IE’s home. I have a feeling she’d have been happy to set out a bowl of this dish on the coffee table in that erstwhile bomb shelter, too.
Oh, and don’t forget to come back and tune in to my very first Google+ Hangout on Air on Wednesday, June 26 at 9:00 PM EST (or 6:00 PM PST) with Allyson Kramer, author of Great Gluten Free Vegan Eats Around the World! We’ll be gabbing about her books, blog, the recipe development process, living vegan and gluten-free, and more!
Last Year at this Time: Kale Salad, Fully Loaded (gluten free; ACD All Stages)
Two Years Ago: Raw Chocolate Almond Butter (gluten free; ACD All Stages)
Three Years Ago: Sweet and Sour Chickpeas (gluten free; ACD All Stages)
Four Years Ago: blog break
Five Years Ago: Tropical Lemon-Coconut Muffins (not gluten free; ACD Maintenance)
Green and Yellow Split Pea Salad with Mustard Dressing
adapted from Australian Women’s Weekly New Salads
A great change from your usual bean salad, this is a slightly upscale take on dried legumes in a light dijon dressing. Great on its own as a side dish, or make it the basis of meal alongside another, leafy, salad and some rustic bread.
1/2 cup (100 g) dry yellow split peas
1/2 cup (100 g) dry green split peas
4 green onions, sliced
1 pint (250 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup (120 ml) coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
For the dressing:
1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tbsp (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
1 Tbsp (15 ml) dijon mustard of choice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Pinch fine sea salt
5-8 drops plain liquid stevia, to your taste
Cook the peas: Let peas soak overnight in room-temperature water, then drain and rinse. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add peas. Once the water boils again, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until peas are just tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.
Assemble the salad: In a medium bowl, combine the peas, onion, tomatoes and parsley. Add dressing and toss gently. Allow to sit for 10 minutes for flavors to meld, then stir gently and serve. Makes 4-6 servings. Not suitable for freezing.
Suitable for: ACD Stage 2 and beyond, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut free, vegan.
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This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday. Well Fed Wednesday, Thank Your Body Thursday
© Ricki Heller
Quick–think “summer picnic.” Or maybe even “summer BBQ.” What are the side dishes that go along with your sandwiches, burgers, or tofu dogs? I bet many of you thought of that quintessential summer fave, Three-Bean Salad (or was it that other quintessential summer fave, S’mores?).
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Lisa is Raw on $10 a Day (or Less!) says
Thanks, Lisa! That was my exact idea with this. . .I think it looks summery, too!
YUM! That looks absolutely delightful! perfect for 4th of July or any picnic!
Thanks, Brenda! It was a perfect light salad. 🙂
Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts says
As I said on Facebook, this salad looks fantastic! I love split peas. 🙂
I appreciated the story, too … per usual. 😉 We used to live in a house that had a bomb shelter. There were two “castles” (stone with turrets). The big castle was the main house and the little castle had been created from a former garage with servant’s quarters above. We lived in the little castle. The bomb shelter for both was built into the hillside below. Both castles had flat roofs, that were accessible via metal stairs (think fire escape style). We watched the local fireworks with friends from that vantage point every year. Great memories!
NO WAY–your house had a bomb shelter, too?!! That’s the only one I’ve ever been to, or even heard of! They thought it was hilarious, of course. 😉
Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts says
Oh, yeah, great party setting! Really good friends of ours still live in the castles and houses nearby and they always have their annual Halloween party next door to the cemetery on the property. It’s perfect! 🙂
This is so awesome! I’ve never seen split peas when they weren’t mush in soup – such a good idea.
I think that’s what intrigued me about the recipe, too–I’d only seen them in soup before!
This is such a good idea, Ricki! I love split peas but don’t ever eat them over the summer since I only ever think of them as being in soups and dahls and it is too hot for those. I will wait for the weather to cool down a bit so that I can fathom turning on the stove, and then I am totally making this!
Glad you like the idea, Courtney! I thought it was a great change from the typical bean salads, and since I love split peas, too, figured, “why not?” 😀
This is such a smart recipe. I’ve never used split peas like this. Just in soups. I love the idea of using them in a salad. I imagine this is very filling. Pinned to make very soon. Can’t wait!!! 🙂
Thanks, Amber! I thought so, too, and we really enjoyed it. 🙂
This looks great Ricki, really different. I never know what to do with split peas except for soup. I love fresh parsley right now too 🙂
Same here! I was glad to have a use for my split peas that would have otherwise waited till next winter! 😉
Johanna GGG says
looks so delicious and simple – just the sort of dish I do badly as I am not good at cooking split peas til they are just cooked and not mushy – and a strange salad as split peas mean hearty winter food to me rather than summer salads
(I just enjoyed your quinoa pizza balls in a sandwich – sorry if my post made it sound like I didn’t like them – they are delicious just not with tomato sauce. And sorry I didn’t make the hangout chat but another time maybe)
It really is a simple dish, and I agree about associating them with winter–which is why I was so curious to try this! Glad to hear about the pizza balls. And what a great idea to have them in a sandwich! 🙂
Miachel (Spiced Curiosity) says
Can’t wait to try this out. It sounds fresh and delightfully tasty. 🙂
Very sweet story. I hope IE is doing well.
Looks like it might be an alternative to same old lettuce and tomato salad. I’m thinking it might make a nice side dish for any meal.
Ricki Heller says
Glad you like it! 🙂
Barbara Karr says
My Grandfather was born in Barbados. He later became a cook on a merchant vessel. The reason for this info is to explain why I can’t find a recipe I am looking for. I am not sure where he picked it up. He was a great cook. He just called it split peas and rice. It had yellow and green split peas, white rice, and cooked bacon added to it. It was served as a side dish. I was too young to pay attention to it’s being made. I’ve never met anyone else who has heard of it. Maybe you have read about it in your searches. I would so like to find this recipe. I have a sneaking suspicion it is an island dish he has altered. If you come across a similar dish please send me a holler. Thanks for reading. In the meantime I’m going to try your salad recipe. Best Wishes Barb
Ricki Heller says
Thanks, Barbara! I haven’t heard of it but I will certainly let you know if I ever come across it. It sounds almost similar to the Pellau recipe I adapted, here. (If not, that’s also a really yummy recipe!).