Pea Salad with Yoghurt Blue Cheese dressing is probably one of the classiest salads l make. It’s a beautiful blend of subtle and strong flavours; sweet peas (tossed in olive oil and lemon juice) are scattered over a bed of cos lettuce, and then drizzled with the creamy yoghurt blue cheese dressing. It could be one of the classiest salads you’ll ever make too!
The inspiration for this salad came from two very different sources. The first being Nigella Lawson (English cookbook author), who makes a salad which scatters peas over a bed of assorted salad leaves and chickory lettuce. I just loved the random, scattered presentation.
The yoghurt blue cheese dressing is a Rosie Daley recipe. Rosie was Oprah’s personal chef about 20 or so years ago. That’s what l call a lucky break!
I have tweaked her dressing recipe a little; but then tweaking to suit your own taste is what cooking is all about.
And if you’re not a natural blue cheese lover, this salad may prove to be a turning point for you. Blue cheese has a buttery melt in your mouth texture. It’s got a strong aroma, and flavour wise it’s a bit on the spicy side. How much or little blue cheese you add to the dressing is really up to you.
I tend to add extra, only because l’m a blue cheese fan!
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
- 500 g / 1 lb frozen peas (thawed)
- 2-3 small cos lettuce
- a handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 400 g / 14 oz Greek yoghurt
- 1-2 tbsp blue cheese, crumbled (note 1)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 garlic, grated
- 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh chives, parsley or mint
- salt & pepper to taste
- Mix the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Separate the leaves from the cos lettuce. Rinse. Gently pat dry with kitchen paper. Place in the refrigerator.
- In a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover peas. Bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Do the taste test to check that peas are cooked.
- Pour peas into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process; you don’t want the peas to become mushy. Shake off as much excess water from the peas as possible.
- Tip the peas in a large bowl. Mix the oil and lemon mixture through the peas. Set aside.
- Arrange the cos lettuce in a large platter.
- Tip the peas over the cos lettuce. Add the cherry tomatoes.
- Combine the yoghurt and blue cheese in a small saucepan.
- Over low heat, whisk continuously until the cheese has melted.
- Remove pan from the stove. Add the remainder of the dressing ingredients (except the herbs). Whisk.
- Pour the dressing over the peas and lettuce. Sprinkle with herbs.
- Have a taste. Adjust seasoning if required (note 2).
- My favourite blue cheese is a soft gorgonzola which is what l used for this salad. I suggest you start with 1 tbsp of blue cheese and taste before you add more. Heating intensifies the flavour of the blue cheese (according to Rosie), so it’s best to start with less.
- If you find that you have more dressing than you need, use any left over to pour over steamed asparagus, green beans or baked potatoes.