Mom’s super scrumptious Curried Pea Salad with Bacon and Cashews can be prepared ahead with either fresh or frozen green peas – and is mayonnaise and gluten-free!
It’s that time of year when I start to think about making creative side dish salads that pair well with grilled or BBQ dishes. One of my favorites has always been my mom’s Curried Pea Salad with Bacon and Cashews. Typical of mom’s recipes, this dish isn’t just delicious, it’s easy to prepare – with only 8 ingredients – and is pretty on the plate. Oh, and it can be prepared ahead of time!
You can make mom’s salad either with fresh or frozen shelled green peas; I prefer making it with fresh English or snap peas. If they’re not in season, using organic frozen green peas also works well. (I’ve included instructions for both.) Simply blanch and dry the peas, then mix together with cooked bacon, chopped celery, green onions and cashews, and toss with a sour cream-curry mixture.
Curry powder is one of my favorite spice mixtures. Yes, curry powder is actually a blend of spices. While the spices used varies by company, most include coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek and chili pepper. I think that curry adds warmth (including a bit of spice, if you add enough) and depth to most any dish.
My favorite way to serve mom’s Curried Pea Salad with Bacon and Cashews is as part of a buffet. You’ll find that people look at it, and think, “oh, pea salad . . .I’ll just take a bit to be polite.” Then, once they taste THIS pea salad, they ALL go back for more – and I never seem to have any leftover!
Pin it now to save for later!
Kosher salt, to taste
2 cups shelled English or snap peas (1 3/4 to 2 pounds unshelled) – see Note
1/2 cup chopped celery (2 large stalks)
5 tablespoons chopped green onions (around 4 or 5)
3 large slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder (or more, depending on the strength of your curry powder)
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup salted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and the shelled peas. Cook just until peas are crisp-tender, around 2 to 3 minutes. Strain and immediately place peas in a bowl of ice water for around 5 minutes (this will stop them from cooking and also keep their pretty green color). Remove peas from bath and set on paper towels to dry.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the blanched peas, celery, green onions, and bacon.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the sour cream and curry powder; season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold into the pea mixture just until coated. Gently stir in the cashews.
- Adjust the curry powder and salt as needed just before serving.
Make ahead: Salad can be made earlier in the day and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.
Note on fresh pea weight: the weight of the peas needed for this dish varies based on the size of the peas. If you end up with several pods with tiny peas, then you will need more unshelled peas to get 2 cups shelled.
Variation: instead of fresh peas, use 10 ounces frozen peas. Place the peas in a colander and place under hot running water until thawed and not crunchy; drain, dry and throw away any peas that look dried out
- Category: Side salads, gluten free, easy entertaining, picnics