There’s something delightfully retro about pea salad. It’s also such a social dish, which comes in handy for Labor Day gatherings this weekend.
When I wrote my first blog post five years ago, I described how food has the power to rouse memories of the past. I’ve always associated deviled eggs with a feeling of community, fellowship, and nostalgia because they remind me of church potlucks from my childhood in rural Kansas.
Pea salad is another dish that evokes gatherings like potlucks, picnics, or barbecues. Until I tasted-tested this recipe in my kitchen, I am pretty sure the only times I’ve eaten pea salad have been in social situations – either potlucks or at barbecues.
The last time I ate pea salad and realized how much I liked it was at a summer barbecue in the backyard of my friends, Sarah and Bobby. They had a bunch of people over for Bobby’s July birthday and someone had brought pea salad. Sarah and I raved about how good it was, and Sarah made the comment that it was so delicious because of all the mayo.
Last night, as I attempted to create a recipe for pea salad, I realized how right Sarah was. The mayo is what makes it.
I made a few adjustments on the classic pea salad based on my own personal preferences. For example, I used green onions in place or red onions since – as I’ve previously explained – I’ve got issues with certain onions. I also adjusted the classic recipe to be healthier by using a combination of light mayonnaise and nonfat Greek yogurt. For bacon, I used center cut since it’s leaner. I’ve noticed that some recipes call for sugar in the dressing while others don’t. In mine, I opted for a couple teaspoons of honey to balance out the tartness of the Greek yogurt. You can choose whether you want to slightly sweeten the dressing with honey. But note that the usage of honey doesn’t alter the total point count. So you might as well, right?
In a bowl, mix strained nonfat Greek yogurt, light mayo, honey, and salt and pepper to make dressing.
In a large bowl combine thawed peas, cheddar cubes, bacon, green onions, and dressing. Mix it all up and place in the refrigerator to chill 2-4 hours. Or until ready to serve.