Yes, I realize that it is no longer Spring, but this salad is too good to pass up due to a silly reason like time-of-year logistics. Months ago, Manatee and I went to a cooking class taught by Patrick O’Halloran from Lombardino’s in Madison. He made this salad and it was love at first bite. Goat cheese, peas and lemons, oh my! Even Manatee, who does not like peas or goat cheese (two of my favorite things), liked this salad.
I began to search produce sections for pea shoots, one of the key ingredients. Copps, Woodman’s, Target, I couldn’t find them anywhere. Then I ventured to Willy Street Co-op. Lo and behold, I found them and I knew I had to make this salad.
- Roasted almonds (see below)
- Thawed frozen peas
- Pea shoots
- Crumbled soft goat cheese
- Romaine lettuce
- Lemon Vinaigrette (see below)
I am not going to provide amounts because it’s really up to you and your tastes. For example, I make the salad with equal amounts of peas, pea shoots, goat cheese and just a splash of vinaigrette. Manatee makes the salad with lots of pea shoots, no peas, very little goat cheese and lots of vinaigrette.
Mix the ingredients together and start tasting. The cool thing with the vinaigrette and the goat cheese is that when mixed together the goat cheese becomes creamy and suddenly you have a lemon-y, creamy dressing. Yum!
Patrick shared with us a great tip for roasting almonds. Toss the sliced almonds with 1 egg white and 1 teaspoon of salt. The ratio is approximately 1 lb almonds : 1 egg white : 1 teaspoon of salt. The egg white gives the almonds added crunch and also provides something to which the salt can adhere.
Spread out almonds on a baking sheet and bake at 350 until golden brown. Check on them frequently. Loosen them from the pan and break them apart throughout the baking. The almonds will be more likely to clump together because of the egg white.
You wouldn’t think a little egg white would make a big difference but it really does. Try it!
Patrick suggested mixing lemon infused olive oil and rice vinegar in equal parts. I wasn’t patient enough to infuse olive oil, so I whisked together 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 2 Tbsp of rice vinegar and the juice of 1 lemon. It’s probably not as good as the version at Lombardino’s, but it was good enough for me and has become one of my new favorite homemade dressings.