A strawberry, almond and pea salad makes an early summer treat. (Betsy Wharton/for Peninsula Daily News)

PENINSULA KITCHEN: Season ripe for fresh salad

I DON’T KNOW about you, but I could not make myself come inside last Sunday to write up this recipe.

It was sunny and warm, and like a young friend was quoted that morning, “the world is screaming, ‘It’s summer out here.’ Let’s get out in it.”

On May 20, I went to the lake. Last Sunday, I spent time in the garden.

So let me make this brief: Try this recipe.

A friend from the Master Gardeners gave it to me. She got it from a friend, who got it from a magazine.

I figure the more times a recipe is handed around, the better it must be.

Sure enough, it’s delicious, makes a complete meal and stores well for leftovers.

The hard part for a locavore like me is lining up all the ingredients.

Pea tendrils and local strawberries have a very short season.

Of course you can go without them and make a perfectly wonderful salad using substitutions.

Last week, I made it with cashews, grapes, spinach and kale, but it is way better if you can stick with the recipe.

Now that we are finally getting some sunshine and heat, the pea vines are climbing and the strawberries are blooming.

If you are able to line up the fresh berries, pea tendrils and the spicy arugula, it will be a beautiful convergence.

If you’d like to sample the recipe — and learn some great gardening tips — join me and the Master Gardeners for our upcoming Second Saturday Garden Tour on Saturday, June 10, at 10 a.m. at the Fifth Street Community Garden on the corner of Fifth and Peabody streets, across the street from City Hall in Port Angeles.

Strawberry, almond, and pea salad

Bon Appétit (by way of Sarah Cronauer, former owner of Wine on the Waterfront)

Ingredients:

½ cup almonds

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons whole grain mustard

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ cup vegetable oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 cup shelled fresh peas (from about 1 pound of pods) or frozen peas, thawed

3 cups baby arugula or watercress, thick stems trimmed

8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled, halved or quartered if large (about 2 cups)

1 cup pea tendrils (tender part of the stem only, chopped)

1 ounce parmesan, shaved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread out almonds on a small rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk vinegar, mustard, poppy seeds and sugar in a large bowl.

Whisk in oil; season with salt and pepper.

Cook peas in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until bright green and tender, about 5 minutes for fresh peas, or 2 minutes for frozen.

Drain and then transfer to a colander set in a bowl of ice water. Drain.

Add arugula, strawberries, pea tendrils, peas and almonds to vinaigrette; toss to coat.

Top with parmesan.

________

Betsy Wharton is a Port Angeles Farmers Market vendor, Washington State University Extension food preservation information assistant and a registered nurse at First Step Family Support Center. More about her pickling enterprise can be found at www.Clallam CanningCompany.com.

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