This simple salad showcases English Peas with fried pancetta, aromatic mint and ricotta salata, juxtaposing sweet and salty flavors without overpowering the peas. Look for young, tender pods that are plump with whole peas that will need only brief cooking.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma
- 5 pounds English peas, shelled
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 thin slices pancetta, chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon raspberry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, plus sprigs for garnish
- 1/4 pound ricotta salata cheese, crumbled
- 1 Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the peas and 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook until the peas are barely tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, place under cold running water until cool and drain again. Set aside.
- 2 In a fry pan over medium heat, cook the pancetta, stirring, until lightly crisped, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
- 3 In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the peas, pancetta and chopped mint and stir to coat. Stir in half of the cheese.
- 4 Transfer the salad to a serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining cheese and the mint sprigs. Serve immediately.