Variations on a theme: Pea salad

This might be a Texas thing but last night we had grilled burgers, homemade spicy pickled okra and pea salad (cold peas, minced carrots, onion, red bell peppers, hard boiled eggs, either grated or cubed cheddar cheese in a mayo type dressing). Someone commented that this is unusual in that is a truly American invention, no body was sure this is true. I said I thought maybe Pennsylvania-Dutch in origin.
Anyone have any thoughts?

What kind of peas?

English peas, if they are fresh you just par-boil them.

I’m Pennsylvania Dutch*, and that’s a variant of a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe. I’ve never had it with the peppers, but that may just be happenstance.

*It has nothing to do with Holland but is a culture derived from immigration of Germanic speakers from Switzerland and the Palatinate to Pennsylvania during the 17th and 18th centuries.

They like pickles. “Seven sweets and seven sours”…

Old recipe from around here, frozen english peas, green onion, hard cooked egg, lots of black pepper. A staple on the covered dish circuit. I have seen it with grated yellow cheddar. Even Ruby Tuesday had it on their salad bar as an option sometimes including cubed ham. Appears on the salad bar at our country club regularly.

Very rarely we’ll see it with green pepper as an addition.

I looked up a recipe (it happened to be by Paula Deen) and decided it was too delicious looking not to make. I used a small can of tiny LeSueure canned peas and an equal amount of tiny frozen peas (added to the salad while still frozen and not cooked). Diced white onion, 2 cut up HB eggs, some pimento from a jar, mayo, and seasoning. Then decided to add bacon bits, so fried up some good thick cut applewood smoked bacon to crispy, cut it small, and stirred it in. This was pretty darn good, if you like peas. I do feel like I have had it before – and there seems to be some sentiment online that it’s a Southern dish. Both things can be true, PA Dutch and southern. As Lancaster, PA filled up in the 18th century, from what I have seen one son got the parents’ land and the other sons headed south and west. There are a lot of German surnames in Texas, and some of them came via Philadelphia in the Palatine immigration.

Great post, I can practically taste the pea-ness!

Down here, South Baldwin County (Largest county in US east of Mississippi river, larger than the state of RI) is predominantly German immigrant. Before the beach gold rush, the economy was dominated by potato farming.

As to the Pea Salad, we made this when I was a child with the canned baby LeSeurs, then switched to the frozen peas later because it made the dish less “watery.” I usually use green onion tops for the onion flavor.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that… [snort.gif]

This reminds me somewhat of a salad my mom used to make - layer chopped iceberg lettuce, then mayo, sprinkle with sugar, then frozen peas, green onion, bacon bits, top with cheddar cheese. Best to sit in the fridge overnight so the peas thaw and the sugar dissolves into the mayo.

I made this once for a pot-luck lunch at our office, and now I’m not allowed to bring anything else.

That would be the pot-luck ubiquitous 7-layer salad. Tomatoes and/or green (bell) peppers also on the list. I always garnished with a tomato rose and stenciled designs in the mayo with minced parsley and paprika. Key is to refrigerate for 12 hours after assembling.