Friday, March 21, 2014

Easy Weeknight Ham and Pea Salad

 Are you stumped and looking for something easy but nutritious to feed your family on a weeknight?  Tired of the same old boring things?  Need something super-speedy? This could be your answer!

I love this salad. It is very versatile and can be adapted to what you have on hand in a flash.

We prefer red onion, but as you can see from the photograph, I only had some sweet yellow onion to use this time. No big deal. You could substitute scallions / fresh green onion.  Or leave it out entirely.

Don't like tomatoes?  No problem, leave them out.  Maybe substitute some sweet corn, or bell pepper.  Toss in some fresh mushrooms if you have them.

Lettuce. Always a hot topic.  I have gotten to where I never buy iceberg lettuce anymore. It has no nutritional value whatsoever. I prefer Bib lettuce,  but it is so costly and not readily available in my rural supermarket.  So, I opt for green leafy lettuce or romaine. Both are flavorful and delicious.

Now let's talk peas - English peas.  You either love peas or you hate them.  We like peas.  Fresh peas. Frozen peas. Canned peas.  Split peas.  We are a pea-eatin' family.  This salad uses frozen peas.  You have fresh?  Lucky you!  Use them.  Only have canned?  Pop in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill them down before using in the salad.

Dressing.  I have tried a multitude of dressings on this salad.  Primary we use good ole Miracle Whip salad dressing.  But it is equally delicious with Buttermilk Ranch or Bleu Cheese or even Creamy Vidalia.  Lighten it up by omitting the Miracle Whip and use oil and vinegar (EVOO, of course) or experiment with the dressing of your choice.

The ham.  I had frozen a big slice of hickory smoked ham.  I thawed it, and cut it into bite sized chunks about a half inch, more or less.  Have some of that presliced ham?  Use that.  Or julienne (super thin slice) some ham luncheon meat in a pinch.  Any ole kind of ham is good.  A country ham is fabulous.  Use what you have on hand.

So give it a shot.  You will love the ease of preparation and the versatility of this simple fare.  Serve it up with some toasted french bread or split hoagie rolls. And if you have a big crowd comin' or unexpected company, this recipe can be sized up to feed any group!  Lip smackin' good.


1-1/2 to 2 cups (+/-) diced ham (bite size pieces)
1 head of green leafy lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
1/2 red onion, sliced round then cut in half, separate
1 tomato (+/-)  diced
1/2 bag of frozen english peas, thawed under cold running water & drained
1/2 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing (or dressing of your choice)
Optional ingredients:  Bell pepper, fresh mushrooms, fresh sweet corn

Combine all salad ingredients in large salad bowl.  Toss lightly.  Add dressing and toss well to coat.

Serve immediately.

Start to finish -- about 10-15 minutes, depending on how long it takes you to cut up a tomato & the lettuce.


~~Aunt Betty

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