Today is the first day of Spring and the sun is shining, birds are singing and flowers are blooming. In honor of the season, I decided to make a salad using spring vegetables - peas, radishes, chives and spring onion tops. I didn't have fresh peas, which would have made it even better as I haven't seen them in the market yet. So, I used frozen peas, which I happen to love. The dressing is a light homemade ranch that uses mayonnaise and a little milk to thin it, a bit of lemon juice since I didn't have any buttermilk to make it tangy, dried dill, a tiny bit of grated onion, some chives, garlic powder and pepper. It is a wonderful dressing that will make you wonder why you buy the prepackaged dressing or even the dried mix. The peas only have to be cooked for a few minutes, the tops of the spring onions (save the bottoms for a stir fry) add a subtle onion flavor and the radishes add a delightful crunch. It's easy and light and a delicious Ode to Spring!
Spring Pea Salad
1 package frozen peas
6 - 8 red radishes, washed with tops and bottoms cut off and cut into quarters
2 green tops of spring onions, cut into small pieces
1 Tablespoon minced chives
For Ranch Dressing:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 - Tablespoons or more milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
pinch of pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated onion (or 1/8 teaspoon onion powder)
1 teaspoon minced chives (scissors work best and you can also use dried)
a pinch of sugar
Mix ingredients for salad dressing and check for seasonings and consistency. If it needs to be thinner, add more milk. If it is too tangy, add a bit more sugar. Remove to the side while you make the salad.
Cook peas in a small amount of water for 3 minutes and drain. Add to bowl, add green onions and let cool slightly. Add radishes and stir in enough Ranch Dressing to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour to several hours for best flavor. Before serving, sprinkle with additional chives.
Five Element Analysis
Peas belong to the Wood Element as the pods, vines and leaves grow so quickly and the bit of lemon juice adds to the element. Radishes, spring onions and chives are part of the Metal Element and the mayonnaise, milk, garlic, onion and dill enhance that element even more. Pepper is only hinted at with Black Pepper and the fact that this is a salad, which is a Fire Food. Earth has only a pinch of sugar and the creaminess of the dressing to represent it. So, Fire and Earth and Water all need to be enhanced to balance the meal. You could serve this salad with some fish or pork or soup for the Water Element. Fire can easily be added with a Fire beverage like coffee, tea or wine or sparkling water and a fruity Earth dessert would round things out nicely.