Nana Recipe Wednesday–Pea Salad

by Sarah on May 9, 2012

So.  The 1970’s.  They were great for some people.  Like Linda Ronstadt.  And Carole King.  And Lauren Hutton. And his hotness, Robert Redford.  Even my dad, Nana and Aunties Anne and Jill look pretty cute here.  I however, have flat feathered hair, a velour hoodie with a skirt, no less, and socks with sandals.  It’s not good people.  Not good at all.

Nana looks great–she may have been going through a Weight Watchers phase……or she could have also just gone through her first bout of breast cancer and perhaps got skinny.  I don’t know but she looks happy.

And to celebrate the Swingin’ Seventies, we are going to make this groovy green pea salad.  Can you dig it?  This salad is truly 70’s inspired as well.  It features, of all things, both marinated artichoke hearts and Bernstein’s Cheese Fantastico salad dressing.

Nana’s version of the salad does not include lettuce.  But mine does, and only about 2 cups worth.  I rolled up about 3 leaves and sliced it thin–called a chiffonade.  I just like the flavor of peas and lettuce–I do another salad with them that is smashing.

This salad also calls for prepared croutons.  I heartily recommend that you make your own.  I didn’t here and I heartily recommend that you make your own.

I also couldn’t bring myself to purchase bottled salad dressing.  I’m sure that when Bernstein’s opened decades ago, there wasn’t such a laundry list of ingredients in there.  I opted to make my own little fake version.

It’s just olive oil, garlic, chives, vinegar, black pepper, a pinch of salt and a big pinch of sugar.  Add about 1/4 cup of Parmesan at the end.

Drizzle over your salad ingredients.

It was good.  A little sweet, a little sour.  A little country, a little rock and roll.  OH NO I’m reverting back to the ’70’s myself.   As long as I’m humiliating myself today, I will admit that I totally loved Donny Osmond and Andy Gibb and that I owned a red satin jacket.  Yes.  And rocked the Dittos too.  And by the looks of it, overall gauchos with a rainbow top and plaid socks.

Anyway, the salad was good.  I liked it with the lettuce.  You can make it however you like.  And then you can go reminiscing down 70’s street too.

Nana's Pea Salad


  • 20 oz bag frozen peas (I used a 16-oz package)
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced thin and julienned
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 8 oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained (After tasting the salad, I may opt for thawed frozen or canned artichoke hearts and chop them. You get plenty of flavor from the dressing)
  • 1/2 red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 package croutons (or homemade)
  • 1 bottle Bernstein's Cheese Fantastico (Or dressing, recipe follows)
  • (2 cups thinly sliced lettuce)
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (depending on size, about a tsp minced)
  • 1 Tbsp minced chive
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


  • Whisk together all dressing ingredients except oil and Parmesan.
  • While whisking, slowly add the oil until it emulsifies slightly. Add cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Set aside.
  • Cook the peas for a minute then drain them and run under cold water.
  • In a large salad bowl, add all ingredients except croutons.
  • Add dressing, half at a time, until it is lightly coated.
  • Mix through.
  • Add croutons.

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