White Cheddar Green Pea Salad
Adapted from The Kitchen is my Playground
When I was a little girl growing up in the American midwest, there were potluck parties. Lots of them. And inevitably at a midwest potluck, there are these things people call “salads”, most of them laden with lots of mayonnaise and sometimes even crazy things like pineapple and marshmallow. I never quite got how they could call some of these things a salad, with nary a green thing in sight. (A proper salad has GREENS in it, people! This was my mindset, once my mother converted me to a salad lover.)
But I was intrigued by one of these mayonnaise-based salads. This one had peas in it, and chunks of cheese. I remember almost liking it, but thinking … the cheese she used was all wrong. She had made the salad with an American cheese … probably Velveeta or something like that. The salad needed cheese, yes, but it needed a REAL cheese, not a cheese food. (Yes, even as a youngling, I was tweaking recipes in my mind.)
When I happened across this family recipe from The Kitchen is my Playground, that whole scene played again in my mind. And 30 or 40-some years later, I finally decided it’s time to tweak that forgotten person’s recipe and perfect that salad. With the RIGHT cheese. I settled on an aged white cheddar that I found at Aldi (we just got Aldi here and I just freaking LOVE that store!).
So here, finally, is the pea salad with the right cheese. I lightened up the dressing, too, because I’m really not all that fond of mayonnaise. But I have to admit, there are some times when mayonnaise is called for and this is one of them. So there is SOME mayo, just not that much. Nobody will notice, though, because this salad has a lot of good, good flavors going on. The right cheese makes such a big difference!
- 1 (20 oz.) package frozen peas
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup nonfat yogurt
- 3 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon spicy brown ground mustard
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
- 1 c. shredded aged white cheddar cheese
- 2 mini sweet peppers, chopped, or 1/2 of a red or orange bell pepper
- Rinse the frozen peas with cool water to thaw them. Soak the chopped onion in water for 15 minutes. Drain both very well.
- In a small bowl, make the dressing: whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, pickle relish, sugar, mustard, and salt until well mixed.
- Toss the peas and onion in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients, then drizzle on the dressing and gently fold everything together. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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