One of my earliest memories when it comes to fresh summer food, is sitting in my dad’s vegetable garden and shelling peas. I spent a lot of my summers in my dad’s garden. Whether it was in the row of climbing pea plants, the zucchini patch or the strawberry patch. I always wanted to be around food, even as it grew from the earth.
While shelling my first bundle of this year’s peas, the smell that burst forth immediately took me to that time, sitting, letting the warm summer earth press against my crossed legs as I sat amidst the growing tendrils.
Life’s small moments of memory linger for a reason. They have meaning. Building upon these tiny moments through a lifetime make a life worthwhile. To build upon that memory as it travels through a nostalgic trigger, I wanted to make a salad with its seasonal friend, cauliflower.
Pea and Cauliflower Salad with Savoury Yellow Tomato Dressing
For the steamed vegetables:
1 cup shelled fresh peas
2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into rough 2cm/1″ pieces
Place the peas and cauliflower in a steamer and steam for 10 minutes. While they steam make the Savoury Yellow Tomato Dressing.
When the vegetables are steamed immediately remove them from the steamer basket and immerse them in ice water to cool and set the bright green colour of the peas. Set aside.
For the Savoury Yellow Tomato Dressing:
20 yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
2 spring onions, white and green parts separated, green parts finely chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp butter
Purée the tomatoes in a blender until smooth. Strain the purée, reserving the smooth component (you could keep the skin/seeds for later, but if you simmer it with in the purée, it’ll split and make a very ragged looking dressing).
Add the smooth purée to a medium saucepan. Add the split white part of the spring onions and the crushed garlic clove. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Because of yellow tomato’s delicacy, simmering for any longer would diminish its fresh flavour. This simmering is solely to infuse the onion/garlic flavour. Add the vinegar and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the butter, swirl it to combine with the sauce, making it smoother and adding a touch of body. Set aside to cool.
Divide the steamed vegetables over two plates. Spoon the dressing over each (removing the cooked onion and garlic if you desire) and garnish with the finely chopped green part of the spring onions. Serves 2.