This bright, fresh salad combines sweet peas with goat cheese and candied hazelnuts for the ultimate springtime dish!
For the vinaigrette:
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 4 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice, about 1 1/2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the salad:
- 1/2 cup whole hazelnuts
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 cups fresh shelled English peas
- 1/2 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
- dash of salt
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 4 mint leaves, minced
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 15 minutes. Let the nuts cool while you make the vinaigrette and then rub the skins off of the hazelnuts.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar, honey, lemon juice and zest together in a small bowl. Add the olive oil and continue whisking until blended.
- To make the hazelnuts, place the sugar in a small non-stick saucepan and add 2 teaspoons sugar. Heat over medium-high heat and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Cook for 2 more minutes and then add the hazelnuts. Continue stirring until the hazelnuts are costed. Remove from pan and spread onto parchment paper to cool. Try to separate the nuts so they don’t stick together in clumps as the sugar cools.
- Inset a steamer basket into a medium saucepan filled with about 2″ of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the peas and reduce heat to medium. Cover and steam for 12 minutes, until peas are tender.
- Remove peas from the pan and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add the shallots, salt and pepper, mix well. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Top with goat cheese, hazelnuts and minced mint leaves. Serve immediately.
If you’re making this salad later in the spring when Meyer lemons are no longer in season you can substitute juice from regular lemons. The dressing will be a bit more tart but the flavor combo is still excellent!