This Minty Pea Salad features a flavour combination that just can’t be beaten! The sweet peas work perfectly with the salty prosciutto and the creamy provolone in this gorgeous spring salad.
Pair this salad with roast lamb, lamb cutlets or even a perfectly cooked beef fillet. The leftovers are great stirred through some pasta.
For the minty peas…
- 500 grams garden peas
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup mint leaves
- 1 tbsps maple syrup
For the salad…
- 100 grams baby rocket
- 100 grams prosciutto (approximately 6 slices)
- 100 grams provolone cheese* (shaved)
To cook your prosciutto…
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the prosciutto in a single layer on your tray but don’t overcrowd it as it won’t crisp properly.
- Place in the middle part of your oven and cook for 10-15 minutes (this will depend on the thickness of your prosciuttuntil they are crispy. Be careful you don’t burn them and keep in mind that they will get crunchier as they cool.
To cook your peas…
- Bring a saucepan of salted water to a roiling boil, add your peas and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes until bright green and tender. Remove from the heat and drain in a colander under cold running water. Shake to remove excess water, pat dry then transfer to a mixing bowl.
To make your salad…
- Rinse your rocket well under cold running water, shake to remove excess water then either pat dry with a towel or spin dry in a salad spinner. Transfer to your mixing bowl.
- Place the olive oil, lemon juice, mint leaves and maple syrup in a small food processor and blitz until well combined.
- Pour your dressing over your peas and rocket, season with salt and pepper and toss until combined. Crumble half of the prosciutto on top and gently stir until distributed evenly throughout the salad. Taste the salad and adjust the seasonings according to your taste.
- Arrange the salad in a salad platter then garnish with the remaining half of the crumbled prosciutto and shaved provolone, serve immediately.
The video in this recipe is courtesy of Stella Culinary.
Green / Garden / English Peas…
Green peas are also known as garden peas or English peas these are the most common variety available and these are the ones that you will find frozen in your supermarket. The pods are firm and rounded, they are shelled (the peas are removed) and the shell is discarded before eating.
Look for bright green pods that are waxy to the touch and avoid the ones that look shrivelled and dried up.
To prepare your peas…
Unless you have purchased a stringless variety the strings for sugar snap peas and snow peas will have to be removed.
Pinch the stem end of the pod with either your fingers or a knife then pull the string down towards the other end, to release the peas from the inside run your finger on the inside of the pod. Discard the strings and pods.
More mature pods may need stringing on both sides, often you can do this from both sides at once – by cutting the stem carefully and pulling down both sides at once.
To boil your peas…
To prepare your peas first, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a rolling boil. Then add your peas and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, green peas are starchy and require a longer cooking time than most people believe.
Once they are cooked until tender, remove from the heat and drain in a colander under cold running water. Shake to remove excess water, pat dry and these green pearls are ready to add to your salad.
More on prosciutto…
Prosciutto is an Italian ham which has been dry-cured “crudo” and served in thin slices. It tastes similar to bacon but as it is thinly sliced it has a buttery texture that melts in your mouth.
Why is prosciutto so expensive?
This laborious and lengthy process involved in making prosciutto is what makes it so expensive.
It is made from the hind leg of specially bred pigs, the leg is cleaned and well-salted, which draws out the moisture and concentrates the flavour.
The salted meat is stored in a closely monitored cold environment for two months. Then the salt is removed and the leg is left to dry age which can take from a few months or several years.
Prosciutto has a Protected Designation of Origin policy, which means that only products produced in stated regions are allowed to carry that name. The most popular being Prosciutto di Parma noticeable by the five-point ducal crown that it has been fire-branded with.
Where to buy.
While prosciutto can be found pre-packed in your supermarkets at a reasonable price. It is well worth it to purchase Prosciutto di Parma from your delicatessen as the quality and taste is far superior.
Look for rosy coloured slices with a soft texture and avoid grey slices that look dry around the edges.
Choosing and prepping your rocket…
Rocket is also known as roquette, arugula, or rucola. Rocket can be eaten young or more mature. There are a number of varieties of rocket the type sold loose is called wild rocket the broader leaf more mature rocket is sold in bunches. More mature rocket has a hotter more peppery flavour and can handle being used with hot accompaniments.
Choose crisp, green leaves and avoid any that are overly wet and slimy, wilted or yellowing.
Wash and dry the leaves carefully just before you are going to use them. I like to use a salad spinner as it removes excess water and allows the salad dressing to coat the leaves without watering down the flavour for a much tastier salad. For rocket bunches, trim any thick or tough stems and tear large leaves bite-size pieces.