Meatless Monday: Pea, Feta and Mint Salad

By: Patty Lee

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

With St. Patrick's Day in full swing and the first day of spring finally in sight, there are plenty of reasons to go green this week. But if you're tired of celebrating with the same old emerald-tinted beer and bagels, consider a dish that skips the food coloring entirely. An array of verdant veggies and herbs, including freshly shelled peas and snips of mint, gives this salad its festive hue, while another lime-colored ingredient — chopped pistachios — adds texture and crunch. Drizzle on the sweet-zesty dressing made from Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and honey and you'll have a fresh, all-natural nod to the Emerald Isles.

7 ounces fresh shelled peas
Water, as needed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/4 ounces shelled pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
1 large handful fresh mint leaves
1 3/4 ounces snow pea leaves or baby English spinach
2 3/4 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled
Directions:

In a medium saucepan, bring salted water to a boil. Blanch the peas in the boiling water until they are just tender and bright green, about 2 minutes. Refresh immediately by plunging them into a bowl of cold water. Drain and reserve the peas.

In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar and honey, and season with salt and black pepper, to taste.

In a large salad bowl, mix the peas, onions, pistachios, and pour over the dressing. Add the mint and snow pea leaves, and gently toss to coat with dressing. Top the salad with the feta cheese just before serving.

More Meatless recipes for St. Patrick's Day:
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