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Classic Pea Salad

Introduction:
Classic Pea Salad is a beloved side dish that combines the freshness of peas with the creaminess of dressing, creating a delightful addition to any meal. Perfect for picnics, barbecues, or a simple family dinner, this salad brings together simple ingredients with a burst of flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Peas: Thaw the frozen peas either by running them under cold water or leaving them in the refrigerator overnight. Drain any excess water.
  2. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the thawed peas, cubed cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, and chopped celery.
  3. Make the Dressing: In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt, and black pepper until smooth and well combined.
  4. Combine Salad: Pour the dressing over the pea mixture and gently toss until everything is evenly coated with the dressing.
  5. Chill and Serve: Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together. If desired, sprinkle with crumbled bacon before serving.

Tips for the Perfect Pea Salad:

  • Freshness Matters: Use fresh ingredients whenever possible for the best taste and texture.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Taste the dressing before adding it to the salad and adjust the seasoning according to your preference.
  • Make Ahead: This salad can be made a day in advance and kept refrigerated until ready to serve, making it perfect for meal prep.
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FAQs:

1. Can I use fresh peas instead of frozen?
Yes, you can use fresh peas if they are in season. Just blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until tender, then drain and cool before using.

2. How long does pea salad last in the refrigerator?
Pea salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure to keep it covered to preserve freshness.

3. Can I omit the bacon to make it vegetarian?
Absolutely! The bacon adds a nice savory touch, but the salad is delicious even without it. Simply omit or replace it with vegetarian bacon bits if desired.

4. What can I serve with pea salad?
Pea salad pairs well with grilled meats such as chicken or steak, sandwiches, or as a side dish alongside burgers and hot dogs during a summer barbecue.

5. Can I make this salad dairy-free?
Yes, you can substitute dairy-free alternatives for the mayonnaise and sour cream. Look for vegan versions of these products at your local grocery store.

Conclusion:
Classic Pea Salad is a versatile and delicious dish that appeals to all ages. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or preparing a family meal, its creamy texture and fresh flavors are sure to be a hit. With simple ingredients and easy preparation, this salad is a wonderful addition to any menu, bringing a taste of nostalgia with every bite.