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Balsamic Tomato-Cucumber Salad with Herby Sweet Pea Spread

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Balsamic Tomato-Cucumber Salad with Herby Sweet Pea Spread

serves 4-6 as a side

Ingredients:

For the Herby Sweet Pea Spread:

  • 1½ cups frozen sweet green peas, thawed
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes (or in room temperature water overnight), then rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 small lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 gloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup packed mixed herbs (I like a mixture of parsley, basil, dill)
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 english cucumber, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper

 

Method:

  1. Add the frozen peas to a bowl and cover with water. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, or until peas are completely thawed out. You can also leave them in the fridge to thaw over night. If you are using fresh raw garden peas, you will want to make sure they are blanched and cooled beforehand.
  2. Add the cashews, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic to the food processor first. The cashews take a little longer to break down than the peas. Secure the top and pulse until a thick paste forms., scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed, and then add the peas and herbs. Pulse until fully combined and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then transfer to an airtight container. Set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow flavours to come together.
  3. To serve family style, spoon the herby pea spread in generous dollops onto a serving plate. Layer the tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, onion, and black olives. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil to taste, and season with salt and pepper. Add more fresh herbs on top if desired. Stored in an airtight container, the spread will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

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