The Barefoot Contessa’s Pea Pesto Salad

by Cate on February 19, 2009

Garden Pea SaladWhen I was planning on what food to serve for Madeline’s party on Saturday, I knew I wanted to include a salad, but which one?  It had to be simple, yet still nice enough for a party.  As soon as I spied this recipe on the Running with Tweezers site, the search was over.  It originally comes from a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, At Home: Everyday Recipes You’ll Make Over and Over Again.  I haven’t had a bad Barefoot recipe yet, and that record is still firmly intact.

Simple and just the tiniest glimpse of summer, even though we’re still a few months out.  With only a handful of pantry staples, you can whip this up in no time flat, and it’s perfect for any occasion, whether it be a weeknight dinner with your family or a celebration.  Even though the warm weather isn’t here yet, with this summer-on-a-plate recipe, we can just close our eyes and pretend.

Pea Pesto Salad
Recipe courtesy of Barefoot Contessa At Home

2 cups frozen peas
2 tablespoons pignolis, toasted (see note)
2-1/2 cups baby spinach leaves – washed and spun dry (I used a spring mix instead)
1/2 cup prepared pesto or you are free to make your own
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese or to taste

    Cook the peas in a pot of boiling salted water for 1 minute. Immediately immerse the peas in a bowl of ice cold water, and drain when fully cooled.

    To assemble, place the spinach leaves in a salad bowl. Sprinkle the peas and pignolis over the spinach. Add the pesto and Parmesan cheese and toss.

    Note: To toast pignolis, place them in a dry saute pan and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes, until evenly browned, tossing frequently. Watch them – they go from pale to burnt very quickly.

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    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    Claire February 20, 2009 at 12:48 am

    Mmmm…adding the pesto makes me think of my habit of using hummus on my salads. I have a salad I think you’d like…just spinach, bacon, mandarin oranges, and peanut brittle with Italian dressing all mixed together. SOOOO good!

    Claires last blog post..A Meal for You


    Nerissa February 22, 2009 at 4:26 am

    MMmm…. pesto and peas. It has my vote! I’m a big fan of that mix.

    Nerissas last blog post..More Than Food


    Sarah February 22, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Oh that looks fantastic …. I am such a huge pesto addict.

    Sarahs last blog post..Kid-Approved: Garlic Soy Stir Fry


    Ashley August 3, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    This looks wonderful! I love peas…what a fun idea to use it with pesto on a salad!


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