You may have heard of the saying ‘when it rains pumpkins, make soup and gently sell it’. Well in the same spirit I say when peas are in season, make this salad. It's colourful, super-fresh and really yummy. For maximum flavour, make sure make the peas are at room temperature when you serve the salad.
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 300 ml pure cream (45% fat)
- 500 g cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets
- 1½ cups (240 g) green peas
- 50 g blanched almonds
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- large handful of pea tendrils (optional)
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp salt flakes
- ¼ tsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the cream and half the cauliflower and simmer gently over low heat for 10–12 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently to avoid any colouration. Strain, reserving the cooking liquid. Transfer the cauliflower and onion to a blender and blend to a smooth puree, adding a little of the reserved cooking liquid as required.
Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and cook the peas for 1 minute, then refresh in iced water. Drain.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan-forced).
To make the oregano salt, combine the dried oregano, salt and sugar in a small bowl.
Toast the almonds in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden, then roughly chop and season with a little oregano salt.
To make the lemon dressing, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste with oregano salt.
Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep-fryer to 180°C (or in a heavy-based saucepan until a cube of bread browns in 15 seconds). Add the remaining cauliflower florets and deep-fry until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Season with oregano salt.
In a mixing bowl, combine the peas, cauliflower florets, almonds and lemon dressing.
Spoon the cauliflower puree onto a serving place, top with the mixed salad and garnish with young pea tendrils (if using). Serve cold.
Recipe from Greek, by George Calombaris, with photography by Earl Carter (Lantern, $59.99, hbk).
View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.