English Pea Potato Salad with Optional Bacon

I’m all excited about this recipe. Which seems silly, because it’s totally something Aunt Edna would have lugged to the barbecue in her giant green Tupperware bowl, setting it next to the quivering Jell-O fruit salad. Or maybe that’s why I’m so excited about it. It feels so perfectly retro.

I’m also excited about it because I love it. And peas have not always been my thing, so. Yay! Yay for peas!

English pea potato salad with optional bacon | Kitchen Treaty

I think we all remember the pea salad with hunks of cheddar cheese that has graced family picnic and potluck tables for decades, right? Some just call it pea salad, others call it English pea salad. I called it something I was always a little wary of, thanks to several traumatic pea-related incidents in my youth. I’d roll those overcooked brownish orbs around my plate until I finally gave in, gagging as I placed a couple on the back of my tongue, gulping milk to swallow them like aspirin (I still think my brother is a genius for thinking up this method of “eating” peas).

Those canned, boiled-to-within-an-inch-of-their-existence peas were the antithesis of the gorgeous, crisp, sweet peas I’d snatch out of the garden and munch on happily. So confusing for a mere child.

Suffice it to say, it has taken me a long time to come around to peas, but the past few years, I’ve discovered that perfectly frozen peas – when prepared right (thawed or hardly cooked at all) – far more closely resemble their fresh-picked counterpart than mushy brown orbs. And then there are sugar snaps and snow peas and, of course, the one or two I am able to pluck out of my spring garden. All so wonderful.

English pea potato salad with optional bacon | Kitchen Treaty

My toddler, who really isn’t keen on many vegetables, so far pretty reliably eats peas. So they’ve been on our table a lot lately, and I’ve been trying to think up a few more recipes that incorporate them. And I’ve also been wanting to come up with a new potato salad recipe, so the two sort of merged into this English pea/creamy baby red potato retro hybrid salad.

English pea potato salad with optional bacon | Kitchen Treaty

Sweet emerald peas, creamy cheddar, zingy red onions, and tender baby red potatoes tossed with light, lemony mayo sauce, and then served with crisp bacon bits for optional topping (or just stir bacon into half for the meat-eaters). So simple, so easy. And so retro – in all the very best, no-mushy-pea ways.

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English Pea Potato Salad with Optional Bacon

This simple potato salad boasts sweet emerald peas, creamy cheddar cubes, zingy red onions, and tender baby red potatoes tossed with light, lemony mayo sauce. Serve with crisp bacon bits for optional topping (or just stir bacon into half for the meat-eaters). Don't forget to set the peas out to thaw a couple of hours before starting!


Ingredients:


  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds baby red potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed and drained if necessary

  • 1 cup cubed medium or sharp cheddar cheese (1/2-inch cube) (4 ounces)

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Additional salt and black pepper to taste

  • If making a half veggie/half meat-eater version, add:

  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, diced, cooked until crisp, and drained

  • If making a full-on meaty version, add:

  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, diced, cooked until crisp, and drained


Directions:



  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and return to a boil. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to pan, filling with cold water and ice to cool the potatoes. Let sit for a minute or two and then drain. Allow potatoes to cool to room temperature.

  2. Place cooled potatoes in a large bowl and add peas, cheese, red onion, and bacon if you're making a full-on meaty version.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over the veggies and gently toss until all ingredients are coated. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.

  4. If adding bacon to half, remove half of the salad to its own bowl and stir the bacon into half. Or, a little easier, just serve the bacon alongside for optional topping.




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Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.