Fresh peas are one of my favorite summer vegetables. It wasn’t until last year that I discovered how delicious they are from the vine, and now I’m hooked. I waited all winter for a chance to go picking and last week Matt and I went. Yes, last week when it was 90+ degrees and you didn’t want to get out of the house, Matt and I thought it would be a good idea to bake in the sun while picking veggies. We could have planned that better, but it was nothing a little ice cream couldn’t fix.
While we shelled and froze most of them to use this winter, I wanted to use some of the peas in a delicious summer recipe. Something must have been in the water because I couldn’t stop thinking about egg salad and knew peas would be the perfect addition. This is the first time I’ve made egg salad, and probably only the 4th or 5th time I’ve eaten it, so I went in without many preconceived notions. I didn’t have bread, I didn’t have mayo, but I had fresh peas and local eggs (can’t wait until our chickens start laying) and I went to work.
I started by shelling some peas! Just a handful until I had a bowl of about 1 1/2 cups…
I love making pita bread and it’s super easy so I decided it would be the perfect holder for the salad. The pita bread recipe I use with much success is listed here but I’ll include it below as well. One of the tricks is baking it on a pizza stone, and while I typically use an oven to bake the bread this time I used the grill to keep the house a bit cooler.
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups warm water (approximately 105 degrees F)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- About 4 cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bread bowl. Stir to dissolve. Add whole wheat flour, one cup at a time, then 1 cup white flour. Stir 100 times (one minute) in the same direction to activate the gluten in the flour. Let this sponge rest for at least 10 minutes or as long as 2 hours.
Sprinkle salt over the sponge and stir in the olive oil. Mix well. Add white flour, one cup at a time. When the dough is too stiff to stir, turn it out onto a lightly floured bread board and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Return the dough to a lightly oiled bread bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until at least double in size, approximately 1 1/2 hours. Gently punch down. Dough can be made ahead to this point and then stored, covered, in the refrigerator for 5 days or less.
Place large baking stone on a rack in the bottom third of your oven or on the grill and preheat to 450 degrees. Roll out a small piece of dough to a circle 8 to 9 inches in diameter and around 1/4 inch thick.
Bake 2-3 at a time directly on stone. Bake each bread for 3 or 4 minutes, until the bread has gone into a full “balloon” or until it is starting to turn lightly golden, whichever happens first – no need to flip it over. Remove from stone and cool on rack + enjoy.
If you read this blog you probably know Matt and I like to cook, and we like to make things from scratch even if we end up eating an hour later than planned. I’m not a big fan of mayonnaise at all… but when I make it from scratch it’s another story. It’s nothing like the jar that sits for years on a shelf. I used a recipe from joy of cooking that’s similar to this one over at food network. It’s basically egg yolks, lemon juice, oil, vinegar and s+p. Our mayo didn’t emulsify correctly to as thick as it should have been, possibly because of the heat and humidity, but it did the job.
Then combined the chopped eggs, peas + mayo. More salt and pepper to taste.. and if I was going to do it again I would probably include a little chopped red onion, bacon, or celery – whatever you like. Then I simply spooned the salad into the fresh pita and voila! Summer lunch.