To go with my barbecued chicken at Community Q in Decatur recently, I ordered a simple and different salad side consisting of fresh peas, crumbled feta, and a light olive oil dressing. It was so good that I bought a bag of freshly shelled peas—which they were selling at the counter with some other locally grown products—and recreated my own version at home. I added a few sliced radishes I happened to have on hand and some fresh mint from the patio. I love the contrast of flavors and textures, and how they compliment, rather than mask, those of the peas—a great way to celebrate their fleeting season.
2 cups shelled English peas
3-4 radishes, thinly sliced (cut in half if large)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, white and light green part only (plus more for garnish)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (plus more for garnish)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add peas and cook 1-2 minutes, or until peas lose their raw taste but are still firm. Place in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop cooking; drain thoroughly.
2. In a medium bowl, combine peas with radishes, scallions, mint, and cheese. Drizzle with olive oil; squeeze lemon juice. Toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with a little extra scallion and mint for garnish. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.