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Texas Treasures: Green Pea and Apple Salad


Some food lovers go for Saveur or Bon Appetit, leafing through issue after issue in search of new recipes. I have a habit of scouring Texas cookbooks from all corners of the state. That’s how I came across this spring-time salad recipe, which features green peas, apple and mint.

The recipe was in the 1980 collection, “Waco Cotton Palace Cookbook: A Legacy of Gracious Dining,” which marked the 10th anniversary of the Waco Cotton Palace Pageant. The title of the book wasn’t promising. Who cares about a cotton pageant court? You might not, until you notice that there, opposite a picture of the Royal Court of 1976, is a recipe for Great-Grandmother’s Orange Pie with sherry in it. Or Dwight’s Picnic Chicken coated in Dijon mustard on the same page as Chicken Breasts Supreme with a topping of chipped beef and bacon.

In this fairly unassuming book are Texas recipes well worth exploring.

In the case of the Green Pea and Apple Salad, the appeal was first in the layering of favorite flavors, followed by the ease with which it all came together. The longest thing that took in making of this salad is chopping the apple. 

The only problem I had is that horseradish today isn’t like the horseradish of 37 years ago, when the cookbook was printed. The jar I bought simply had no zip to it. So, even though I more than doubled the amount, the salad lacked a slightly spiky quality that I think would have helped. In that case, the salt really helped. So, taste and adjust as necessary.

This salad was great with lamb. I’m sure it would be just as versatile with everything from picnics to potlucks.

Green Pea and Apple Salad

4 cups frozen peas
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions (include some of the tops)
1 tart apple, unpeeled and finely chopped
Salt, to taste

You can add the apple to the dressing to keep the color fresh before stirring in the peas.

Thaw peas. Do not cook. Mix sour cream, horseradish, mint and onions. Add peas and apples and season with salt. Chill.

If fresh mint is not available, a few drops of spearmint or peppermint flavoring may be added, but add sparingly and taste — it doesn’t take much.

Makes 8 servings.

From Mrs. Edgar Jablonowski (Beth)/”Waco Cotton Palace Cookbook: A Legacy of Gracious Dining”

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