Minty Pea Salad for Summer Evenings…

Growing up, summer, for me, was synonymous with many things. Besides beach, sea, playing cards all night long with friends and the million books and textbooks I finished in three months (yes, we were given “summer homeworks” back then), summer also meant all you can eat peas, tomatoes, zucchini, watermelon and fish.  But eat and swim were not the only two action verbs I had going on.

Summer was also synonymous with peeling, shelling, blanching, sundry-ing, meshing, sieving and eventually freezing a lot of vegetables during those months. My grandparents were always obsessed with “winter preparations”. Vegetables were in abundance and cheap around our summer home in Tatlisu, so the visit to the farmer’s market every week was something of a big ordeal. Every week, we would come home with at least 10 pounds of any vegetable, and prepare it for the freezing. Several weeks of peas, then okras, then tomatoes, making the dough for the tomato soup called Tarhana which involved sun dry-ing and sieving the dough…I helped them as much as I can in my busy teenager’s schedule. It might not be much but at least I carried the vegetables from the market every week. And I shelled peas…oh boy, I shelled hundreds of pounds of peas in my life by now probably… But nobody could make me touch or eat okra! So my grandfather would help my grandma most of the time when it was okra’s turn. I know, he does not look too happy in the picture below and that knife is wagging rather dangerously!

My mom likes to cook the peas, with some onions, olive oil and lots of dill, and serves it cold. It is a great light dish for summer days. I wanted to create a similar pea dish for this weekend’s dinner but dill was out of question, due to some person in this household not giving the love that dill deserves! After assessing what I had in the pantry and the fridge, this pea salad came about.

I had about 2-2.5 cups of frozen peas. Lots of fresh mint in the fridge. A small open bag of slivered almonds. All I had to do was to make a simple vinaigrette!  The vinaigrette was made on a whim, with “a little bit of that, a little bit of this” approach. Turned out good but please taste and see if it needs adjusting for your taste. I like the tangy taste so I did not shy away from adding vinegar and lemon juice to the mustard. I then added a teaspoon honey to balance it out a bit. Salt and black pepper were the only seasonings added.

Looking at my grandparents picture above and remembering those summer days is making me smile.  Everything was a big deal back then, I thought my problems were earth shattering types! Like the boy I had a crush on asked my friend out instead of me or my grandparents would not let me go to a friend’s house for a sleepover! And I thought my life was over at those times!

If I only knew!!! If I only knew how silly it was! I would have helped them to shell more peas! Heck I would even have helped them with okras!

Minty Pea Salad

  • 2-2.5 cups of frozen or fresh peas (thaw the frozen ones, or cook and cool the fresh ones)
  • 1/3 cups of chopped mint (firmly packed)
  • 1/3 cups of slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cups of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper (1/2 teaspoon each or to taste)
  1. Mix peas, mint and slivered almonds.
  2. Whisk the olive oil and the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Toss the pea mixture and the dressing. Cover, let it sit in the fridge for two hours before you serve.


Sharing this recipe at Seasonal Saturday at La Bella Vita…

Thanks Jennifer for featuring me on Friday!


  1. by Gokce
    1:46 am
    Jun 20, 2011

    Indeed, if I only knew how silly my worries at those times were!

  2. by Parsley Sage
    7:46 am
    Jun 20, 2011

    Great post with a great story. Ah, being a teenager. So much drama :)

  3. by Sommer@ASpicyPerspective
    11:00 am
    Jun 20, 2011

    Hey friend,

    Love this post–especially the pea-shelling photo. That is one gorgeous salad. :)

  4. by All That I'm Eating
    4:33 pm
    Jun 20, 2011

    I know what you mean! Except that for me it’s not peas but broad beans. I had a very similar dinner to this tonight, mint and peas are the best.

  5. by rebecca
    10:05 pm
    Jun 20, 2011

    oh wow love this post and the hard work your grandparents put into cooking, what a great recipe for peas oh I got the lavender in England at a lavender farm :-)

  6. by Jeanette
    10:23 pm
    Jun 20, 2011

    Ilke, what fond memories – love the picture of your grandparents! This pea salad recipe sounds perfect for a hot summer day. Hope you are enjoying the summer!

  7. by Angie@Angiesrecipes
    12:11 am
    Jun 21, 2011

    I love peas! The salad looks so fresh,light, and appetizing! Thank you for sharing it.

  8. by Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    6:45 am
    Jun 21, 2011

    Great story!~ I recently shelled some peas my husband grew. The did well so we will plant more next year. First visit to your site and it is beautiful! I love peas, and family stories, and lovely food photos – you’ve got it all! Can’t wait to see more.

  9. by zerrin
    7:29 am
    Jun 21, 2011

    Never had peas cold with dills or mint. This sounds like a great summer dish! I have already stored a lot of peas in deep freezer with mom’s help. I will try your recipe with fresh dill. Thanks!

  10. by Jennifer
    8:23 pm
    Jun 21, 2011

    Yay! I’m so glad you posted this b/c I loved it so much the other night! Also, I’m gonna feature it this Friday! YUMMY!

  11. by Ilke
    6:57 am
    Jun 22, 2011

    Thanks Jen! Sometimes simple stuff turns out to be a very good, tasty recipe. I was surprised myself!

  12. by Tanvi@SinfullySpicy
    12:04 pm
    Jun 22, 2011

    The picture of your mom shelling the peas is soo lovely.Makes me think of my India days when my granny used to work with peas the similar way.I hardly use fresh ones now.This is perfect for my salad kick offlate! Love the fresh flavors.

  13. by Tanvi@SinfullySpicy
    12:04 pm
    Jun 22, 2011

    Ah I meant your grandmother in the picture..I think I have slept too much :)

  14. by Ilke
    12:08 pm
    Jun 22, 2011

    :) Thanks Tanvi! I guess soon I have to put a picture of my mom as well since she is getting a little bit jealous I believe :)

  15. by Shelley
    1:52 pm
    Jun 22, 2011

    IYour salad looks lovely! I, too, have shelled quite a few peas in my life. Funny that it seems to be a family chore, whether on a porch in Alabama (like me and my Granny) or a beach in Turkey. I have a love/hate relationship with these peas. I do like them cold, in such a salad as you prepared, but I don’t like them hot. Something about chilling them seems to enhance the sweetness for me.

  16. by Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen
    11:49 am
    Jun 24, 2011

    Looks great! I love peas. But I have to ask– who in your house doesn’t like dill?? It’s the best! And I bet it would taste great with this salad. :)

  17. by Val
    9:14 am
    Jun 26, 2011

    I often find that if you don’t add peas to some sort of dish you can find yourself in a bit of a pea-rut. You know, where you find yourself cooking them the same way, always. I love this idea for an all-round pea salad. We have an abundance of fresh mint at the moment and I couldn’t think of a better way to use it up.

  18. by Roz
    12:58 pm
    Jun 26, 2011

    Hi Ilke! Thanks for visiting my blog and following! WOW, you are my 1000th follower and that’s mighty special to me! Thank you! I am trying to figure out how to follow your blog, but I can’t find a follow button. Let me know what I’m doing wrong. Also, I adore sweet green spring peas…..oh yum, this recipe sounds delicious, Ilke!

  19. by Katie
    7:53 pm
    Jun 28, 2011

    I looove peas! I could eat this as a main dish.

  20. by Lyn
    8:20 am
    Jul 2, 2011

    Ilke…. please give instructions on how to make the Pea Salad USING dill… I’d love to try it with dill! (LOVE dill.) thanks


  1. Refreshing Pea Salad
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