As much as I love soups, I love salads equally. Not the iceberg lettuce-smother it with ranch dressing kind of salad. I like the throw it all together with reckless abandon kind of salads. Using things that you have on-hand, each combination that you make can be different every time. I'm a firm believer that if you rely on your taste-buds and include things you like, they'll all end up going together.
There are also the kinds of salads that are so flavorful and so easy, they end up being in rotation in your recipe repertoire. This is one of those salads. Trust me. I ran across this recipe while flipping through cookbooks and realized I hadn't made any of Ina's recipes in a while. It's four or five really easy to find and flavorful ingredients that you can toss together and make a quick showstopper. I made it for a dinner party last week and everyone raved. I made it straight from the recipe and it was incredible. The one note I will make is that I would watch the amount of Parmesan cheese you add at the end. If you are using prepared pesto, taste the salad before you add the cheese to make sure that you need the added salt and grate it accordingly.
Pea Pesto Salad – serves 4 to 6 – recipe originally found in Barefoot Contessa At Home
– 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