This bean, pea and feta salad is one of my favorite salad recipes from Jonna Vormala’s book Jäävuoren huippu, which I had the honor of photographing last summer. And I have to say I love every single salad in that book. And it’s actually a whole book of salads, called The top of the Iceberg, but fresh peas took the winning ticket this time.
The book is all about seasonality and simplicity. And I think simple recipes are deceiving in a way that sometimes they seem mundane and don’t reveal all the goodness and potential in them when you are flicking through recipes. But in reality the simple ones are always the best ones, if using good ingredients.
Today I had fresh peas plucked from my parents garden, but no fresh beans available yet. So I left them out, rather than using frozen ones.
And I think in salads, going with seasonal ingredients is the only way. I mean, I wouldn’t do asparagus salad now that the peak has gone away, but there is an abundance of fresh peas and zucchini right now, so I’ll concentrate on devouring them in the best possible way I can.
I admire Jonna’s quality of measuring and being accurate, because accuracy doesn’t really run in my habits. So for my salad, I didn’t measure things; more or less composed the salad by feel — and the size of my plate really.
Oh and I haven’t planted any fresh mint this year (what the hell was I thinking though?) and I used a combination of dried mint and fresh basil in my salad and it worked out really well. But if you have fresh mint and beans, do use them.
Salad with peas, beans and feta
green beans — 300 grams
podded peas — 2 dl / 3/4 cup
pea shoots — 2 handfuls
fresh mint, chopped— 1 1/2 dl / around 1/2 cup
lemon juice —1 1/2 tbs
honey — 2 tsp
olive oil — 1/2 dl / 3,5 tbs
salt — 1/4 tsp
black pepper — a pinch
good quality feta — 100 grams
milk — 1/2 dl / 3,5 tbs
Cut the ends away from beans and boil them in salted water until tender, à 4-5 minutes. Drain the beans with ice cold water to stop cooking any further. Drain well.
De-pod your peas. Tear pea shoots into bite size pieces and chop up the mint. Mix beans, peas, pea shoots and mint together in a salad bowl.
Combine lemon juice, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well. Add the dressing into the salad ingredients and toss to combine.
Measure the milk and feta in a bowl and press, squish and mix with a fork to get a soft mixture. Add feta either to the salad bowl or straight to your plate and add the salad on top.
In the book this salad is recommended with a smoked fish (divine!) but it is also very good on it’s own as a lunch with some toasted bread.