This may sound funny, but I think side dishes are tough for vegetarians. They seem to often include potatoes or another kind of starch, or they are really just vegetables. Often my main courses are very starch heavy or vegetable heavy and a traditional side just doesn’t sound right. When I find a good one, I hang on to it and use it with a variety of different dishes.
I love this pea dish because it can do double duty. It can be served as a side (as I did last week with a healthier version of mac and cheese), or it can be a salad. The original recipe calls for pea shoots which can be hard to find unless you hit a farmer’s market in the spring (their season), or live close to an Asian market. If I want this dish to be more salad-like, I will either toss some arugula leaves into the salad itself (as I for the party I catered), or I will serve the peas on a bed of arugula.
I suppose this dish would be simple incredible with fresh peas, but we are months away from that luxury here in Seattle and I think using fresh would make it incredibly expensive and time consuming. Frozen are fine here. The original recipe tells you to cook them, but I just allow them to thaw for a good few hours and use them that way to save time and dishes to wash!
Pea Salad with Radishes and Feta Cheese
Adapted from Bon Appetit
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. honey
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1 pound frozen peas, thawed
1 bunch radishes, trimmed, halved, thinly sliced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 oz.)
3 cups arugula (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together the cumin, lime juice, and honey. Gradually whisk in olive oil; stir in dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)
In a large bowl, place the peas, radishes, and feta cheese. Add the dressing and toss to coat. If desired, add the arugula and toss again. (Note: If you are not going to serve the salad right away, wait until serving time to toss in the arugula, otherwise it will wilt.)