|Fresh Pea Salad
1 cup fresh mint leaves
2 dried dates, pitted
1/2 of a small serrano chile, stem removed
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and zest from that lemon
1 1/2 cups fresh peas
1 small head of romaine lettuce, cut into shreds
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
fine grain sea salt
To make the mint-date dressing, puree the mint, dates, chiles and lemon juice and zest using a food processor or hand blender. Blend until uniform in texture. Thin it out by adding a tablespoon of water at a time until it is a consistency that you can drizzle (the photo up above is before I added 2-3 tablespoons of water to thin it out). Taste and adjust for lemon and spiciness.
When you go to cook the peas, the key is not overcooking them. Fill a big bowl with ice water and set aside. Add some salt (as you would pasta water) and the peas. Bring six cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. You are just going to boil the peas for a very short time. Don't leave the stove. Taste for doneness; you want them just barely tender, so they still pop in your - mouth. Quickly drain and dunk the peas in the bowl of ice water.
Just before serving gently toss the peas, lettuce, and pumpkin seeds with about half of the dressing and a couple pinches of salt. Taste and add more dressing if you like. Finish with a pinch or two of your favorite finishing salt. Serves 2 - 4. Adapted from http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/fresh-pea-salad--recipe.html
Notes: If you end up with a dressing that is too spicy for your tastes, tame it with a dollop (or two) of plain yogurt. If you know you are sensitive to spiciness you can always remove the seeds and veins in future versions. If you like a bit more kick, add more serrano chile a small piece at a time.