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Fresh Spring Pea, Fennel and Mint Salad

Peas have been a delicious food since ancient times and archaeologists have found them in Egyptian tombs. They probably dried them for the afterlife (and beyond).  Today, only about 5 % of all peas grown are sold fresh. Peas are a good low calorie source of protein. A ¾ cup serving of peas (about 100-calories) contains more protein than a whole egg or a tablespoon of peanut butter and has less than one gram of fat and no cholesterol. So there.

It’s a fleeting pleasure to stumble upon a man selling fresh peas – just shelled – at a reasonable price.  We’ve been lucky.  So we tried something new and share it here.  We had ours with a bit of cheese and sourdough bread and a cold, sparkling drink (think beer, champagne, club soda…).  It was just the thing to watch the fireflies and think about the days to come….


This salad uses leaf fennel and mint.  We have ours growing outside – they are both very hardy perennials and easily multiplied but you can purchase easily too.  We like fennel for the leaves as well as the seeds, both of which aid digestion.  Since these herbs grow themselves, it’s easy on the schedule (go out and pick) and the budget.  We also add chopped radishes because we had some but they could be omitted.


1 1/2 cups fresh shelled peas

3 chopped radishes

1/4 cup chopped fresh fennel leaves (could substitute 1-2 tbsp. finely chopped bulb fennel)

2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint

3 tbsp. good olive oil

1/2 lemon (or lime)

2 cloves garlic

salt and pepper to taste

How to Make it:

Step One: In medium bowl, mix peas, radishes and herbs.

Step Two: In separate jar, mix olive oil, lemon juice and garlic and shake to blend.

Step Three: Toss dressing with vegetables and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let sit 10 minutes to blend flavors.

Serve as is or on fresh lettuce leaves.