I can't take it anymore – I had to make something using fresh peas. Of all the vegetables I love – and there are many – peas hold a very special place in my heart. I grew up eating them in everything (mostly the canned variety, bless my mom's heart) as it was the one green thing my dad could stomach. As I've grown up, I've ditched the cans and developed a full swoon lust for fresh peas. There is something romantic about opening fresh peas – that daydreamy let-your-mind-wander (mine was reflecting on a pretty remarkably amazing weekend i just had) busy work that keeps you standing at the sink with your head and hands just a-goin'.
I haven't cooked with them in some time so I was thrilled when I scored a handful of bright green fresh peas at the market. With them, I wanted to make a spin on macaroni salad. This is total picnic and potluck food for those in the parts of the world (like me) where the weather is getting good. There were gorgeous radishes at the market, too – they add such pop of color and crunch. Throw in some chopped sugar snap pea pods and chives with a tangy dressing and it's a great base for grilled salmon or seafood or alongside really flavorful sandwiches.
Pea, Radish and Orzo Salad – serves 4 as a side dish
– In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente. Cooking time will vary but it should be in the 6-7 minute range. If you are using fresh frozen peas, throw them in the boiling water with the orzo in the last 2 minutes of the pasta's cook time. Drain and allow to cool.
– In a medium mixing bowl, combine yogurt, lemon zest, and chopped chives. Add drained orzo to the dressing. To that, add your peas, radishes, and snap peas. Stir to mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle the mixture with chopped chives. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.