Green Pea Salad

James Beard

Author and Educator

"When peas are in season, they make an extremely pleasant and offbeat salad, either cooked or, if they are really young and tender, raw. On a summer luncheon plate with cold chicken or veal the cool, delicate green salad looks extremely refreshing and inviting."

–James Beard, The New James Beard (Knopf, 1981)


  • 4 pounds very fresh young green peas
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh shallot, sliced green onions, or scallions
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Salad greens (Boston, Bibb, or romaine)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
  • Optional garnish: 1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots, green onions, or chives


Shell the peas and cook them in 1 quart of boiling salted water until just crisply tender, about 12 minutes. Drain the pot and while the peas are still hot, toss them with the oil, vinegar, shallot (or onion), and salt and pepper to taste. Allow the mixture to cool, then make a bed of salad greens in a bowl, add the pea salad, and toss it with the parsley and tarragon. Garnish, if you wish, with additional chopped shallots, green onions, or chives (which are easiest to cut if you use scissors).


4 servings