the appetizer:

How to Eat by Nigella Lawson presents simple yet elegant approach to food, including recipes like this complete Midsummer Dinner: Pea, Mint, and Avocado Salad, Beef Fillet with Red Wine, Anchovies, Garlic, and Thyme (with a Tagliata variation), New Potatoes, Warm Spinach with Lemon, and Strawberries in Dark Syrup with Proust's Madeleines.



Pea, Mint, and Avocado Salad

from Midsummer Dinner for 8

This is one of my great-aunt Myra's recipes. Of course, you can use frozen peas, but it's a pity at midsummer, and feels odd somehow, like having a light bulb on in brightest daylight. Alternatively—and this is probably the genuine compromise position—you can shell and cook the peas in advance and leave them steeped in the dressing. Nothing beats freshly shelled, just-cooked new peas, but we must be prepared to bend a little for our sanity's sake.

  • 9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,
  •      plus more, if needed
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon good white wine vinegar
  • Fat pinch superfine sugar
  • Bunch of mint, chopped
  • 1 pound shelled peas (about 3-1/3 pounds unshelled)
  • 1 package (10 ounces) mixed salad greens
  • 2 heads Belgian endive, separated into leaves
  • 3 ripe avocados, cut into bite-size chunks

First make the dressing: put the oil, vinegar, and sugar into a large bowl and then put in a decent handful of the chopped mint. Stir well so all is amalgamated. Cook the peas for 2 minutes or so in salted boiling water, just so that they're ready, but not soft. Taste after 2 minutes and then keep tasting. Drain the peas in a colander, put them straightaway into the bowl of dressing, and let steep for an hour or up to a day.

Just before serving, stir in the mixed greens, the endive, and avocado.You may need to drizzle a bit more oil in it after tossing. Serve this on a big plate. Sprinkle with some more of the chopped mint.

  • from:
  • How to Eat
  • The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food
  • by Nigella Lawson
  • Wiley 2007
  • Paperback; 474 pages; US $19.95
  • ISBN 978-0-470-17354-1 (0470173548)
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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This page created August 2007

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