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Split Pea Salad with Warm Bacon-Sherry Vinaigrette
Ingredients
Directions
Ingredients
1 lb
green or yellow split peas (you can also use any color of lentils), sorted through to remove any stones
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1 ¼ tsp
kosher salt, plus more as needed
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2 sm
shallots
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2
garlic cloves, minced
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4
sprigs of thyme
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4
slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon
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c
extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
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1 tsp
freshly ground black pepper
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2 tbsp
Dijon mustard
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¼ c
sherry vinegar
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3 tbsp
sliced fresh chives
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3 c
torn (1- to 2-inch pieces) red lettuce leaves (yes, red; green won’t look pretty)
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4 sm
radishes, thinly sliced
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Split Pea Salad with Warm Bacon-Sherry Vinaigrette

The Exorcist kind of ruined split peas for a lot of people. But in my husband’s family and in mine, there’s nothing more beloved than a bowl of split pea soup simmered with a ham bone. So I thought I’d take everything great about the flavors of split pea soup and reimagine them as a salad, thereby eliminating the color and texture associations that tend to turn people off.

6-8 servings

  1. Place the split peas and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a medium pot and fill with enough water to cover the peas by 1 inch. Cut 1 shallot in half lengthwise and add it to the pot along with half of the garlic and all of the thyme sprigs.
  2. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the peas are tender but not mushy or falling apart, about 15 minutes. Drain in a colander, pick out and discard the thyme and shallot, and place the split peas in a medium bowl. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, slice the remaining shallot crosswise into paper-thin rounds. Place the slices in a small bowl with cold water to cover and an ice cube. Soak until ready to use.
  4. Slice the bacon in half lengthwise and slice the strips ¼-inch thick. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat. Drizzle with oil and add the bacon and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is browned and crisp and the fat has rendered, about 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining half of the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Whisk the mustard in followed by the vinegar and the ⅓ cup of the oil. The vinaigrette won’t be fully emulsified, but don’t worry—it’s still a vinaigrette and it will still make the salad delicious.
  5. Use a rubber spatula to scrape all of the warm vinaigrette into the bowl of split peas, then add the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and the chives. Gently fold everything together. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
  6. Drain the shallot slices and transfer them to paper towels. Blot dry, then fold into the split peas.
  7. Place the lettuce and radishes in a large bowl and toss with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt. Gently fold in the split peas and serve.
  8. DOUBLE-DUTY DRESSING: There’s nothing this vinaigrette doesn’t elevate, from grains of any sort, to spinach leaves and bitter greens like endive and chicory, to simply grilled chicken or pork.

Sunday Best

Adrienne Cheatham

Book Cover