Thursday, July 28, 2011

Creative Refrigerator Cleaning--Summer Salad with Peas and Carrots

This refreshing summer salad is a repeat post from July 2010; we've enjoyed the tasty, nutritious cold version of traditional peas and carrots often since I originally "created" (i.e., adapted a recipe) it. Many readers have been using my recipes, so thought it might be of interest to any of you who did not see it before. By the way, given my previous entry, be assured that I have my permission to copy my own blog posts--others do not :>). Remember, too, that you can use the search box in the upper left corner of the blog home page to find entries on particular topics; just type in "recipe", "travel", "painting", etc.
Although I often plan meals carefully, some dishes and menus come about sort of accidentally. I hate to waste food, so track our fresh fruit and vegetable supply in order to serve foods as close to their peak of freshness as possible. A few weeks ago, a bag of fresh, peeled, petite carrots proved very disappointing--not very sweet or appealing. So, I had planned to lightly cook and season them, but cooked carrots did not fit well into the next few nights' meal plans. Planning to enjoy BLTs with some yummy tomatoes and a partial pack of bacon left from making something else, I went on-line to search for carrot salad recipes.
The most promising recipe, Pea and Carrot Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette sounded nice, but shallots aren't a staple in this refrigerator (and I had no intention of running to the store). After several other changes to the recipe, I came up with a salad Mark and I both enjoyed. The amounts are approximate and can be adjusted to your family's taste preferences. If you are interested in the original recipe or in the nutrition facts, go to
Pea and Carrot Salad
2 cups raw baby carrots, chopped in 1/2" chunks
3 cups frozen petite green peas
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tblsp. lemon juice
2 Tblsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 Tblsp. olive oil
1 Tblsp. snipped fresh parsley
dash of salt
generous grinding of black pepper
1. Steam (or boil) chopped carrots for about 3 minutes, until slightly tender, but still crisp. Stir peas into same pot of hot water just enough to thaw them and drain off water immediately (the peas will taste very fresh and sweet this way).
2. Whisk the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar together. Stir in chopped onion, then whisk olive oil in, mixing well. Stir in snipped parsley and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
3. Gently toss the peas and carrots in the vinaigrette and serve at room temperature or chilled.
Question of the day: Do you tend to follow recipes, read and then adapt them, or make up your own dishes without a recipe?


  1. I so rarely cook any more that the question is a bit of a stumper! I occasionally follow a recipe and do tend to make adaptations of it or substitutions really. Usually depends on if I something on hand that would work well as a substitute. Most often, when following a recipe I will go buy what I need at a store. I always follow a recipe when baking though.

  2. Good point, Sherry, about following a recipe for baking--the right proportions of certain ingredients are crucial. You are creative and wiling to experiment, so I'm sure that you exercise some freedom with other recipes--when you have time in your busy life to think about cooking, that is.

  3. Question of the day: Do you tend to follow recipes, read and then adapt them, or make up your own dishes without a recipe?
    I do all of the above, Mary! If it's a new recipe that's involved, I tend to follow the recipe the 1st time, then modify it after that. Making up new ones is always fun!

  4. Hey, Jean, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I still miss you and your first-rate blog. I look for your posts on Facebook, but am just an occasional visitor there--so feel a bit out of touch with you. Always glad when I hear all is well with you and your painting.