Spring is right around the corner, and then summer, and thats means BBQ's and picnics galore! Just thinking about it makes me want to go buy a new grill. (We caught ours on fire at a large party last year and now the six burners heat unevenly and it seems to leak propane out when not in use... Ugh.)
Pea salad is one of those nostalgic picnic dishes that everyone has had. Except me. Last summer was the first time I've ever had or made a pea salad. I started with a zippy homemade mayonnaise, mixed in some peas and a blackened, charred onion and finally topped it with the Hempler's Uncured Bacon.
Bacon makes everything better in my opinion. The bacon is cooked until just chewy, not how I normally like my bacon - crispy and crumbly. The chewiness is just better in this salad I think. If you prefer a more cooked piece of bacon, go for it. Just thinking about this pea salad makes me want to go make bacon...
- 6 strips of Hempler's Applewood Uncured Bacon
- 1/2 red onion, charred on a grill, under the broiler, or in a cast iron pan on the stove until blackened
- 1 pound frozen peas, defrosted
- 1 cup homemade mayonnaise - recipe below
- 1 whole egg at room temperature
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar (Apple cider vinegar works well too)
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 cup avocado oil (olive oil works, but I find the flavor too pronounced for a lot of things. The avocado oil is less strong-tasting.)
Put the egg, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in the bowl of an immersion blender and puree until smooth. While still running the blender, slowly pour in the cup of oil until thick and creamy. (I make all of our mayonnaise. This stuff just doesn't compare to store-bought mayo! You'll never go back!)
Cook your bacon over medium heat until just cooked and slightly crispy.
Let the bacon cool on a paper towel-lined plate so drain off some of the fat.
Dice your charred onion into a medium dice and set aside.
Slice the bacon into 1/2 inch slices and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add the almost all of the bacon, onion, peas, and 1/2 cup of the mayonnaise. Stir, taste for seasoning and optionally add more mayonnaise. I liked mine fairly saucy, so I added more mayonnaise. (But I'm a mayonnaiseaholic...)
Add the leftover crumbled bacon you had reserved and serve. I guarantee this will be the first salad to dissapear at your next gathering!