Made with fresh and dried peas, thick-cut bacon and firm new potatoes, this salad is dressed in a mustard vinaigrette and finished with Comté. It’s a versatile, easy dish that is particularly delicious eaten fresh, still slightly warm, but it can be refrigerated and so works brilliantly as supper and then for leftovers for lunch the next day. Freshly-podded peas are wonderful when in season, but this can be made at any time of year using frozen peas, too. You can used firm lentils such as Puy in place of the dried peas if you wish, or yellow split peas, barley, spelt etc.
- 165g dried green split peas
- 250g fresh peas (shelled) or frozen peas, defrosted
- 300g thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into 1cm pieces
- 350g small new potatoes, cut into quarters or eighths, depending on their size (you want small bite-sized chunks)
- 1½ tablespoons cider vinegar, plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (or spring onion)
- A few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (may not use, depending how fatty the bacon is)
- 200g younger aged Comté, cut into cubes
- Juice of ½ lemon
1Bring a pan of water to the boil and add in ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook the dried peas for about 30 to 35 minutes until they are tender, but not starting to fall apart. Drain them well and place in a large bowl with the fresh peas.
2Bring another pan of water to the boil and add the new potatoes. Boil for about 3 minutes. Drain, then lay them onto a clean tea towel or kitchen paper and leave to dry and cool slightly.
3Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and then cook the bacon for 10 minutes until it is crispy and most of the fat has rendered out. Using a slotted spoon (leave the fat in the pan), transfer the bacon into the bowl with the peas.
4Add a little of the olive oil to the frying pan if there’s less than a tablespoon of fat in there already, then add the potatoes and cook over a medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to move the potatoes around, until they are golden brown on all sides. Remove the pan from the heat and add ¼ teaspoon salt, vinegar, mustard and shallots, tossing to coat the potatoes, plus a splash of extra virgin olive oil if you feel it needs it (if the bacon hasn’t rendered much fat).
5Add the contents of the pan into the bowl, then add the Comté, and toss everything to combine, adding the lemon juice – taste to see if it needs more vinegar, salt or pepper. Transfer to a serving plate or bowl to serve.