Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Broadway Pea Salad

Do you have a favorite go-to salad that you turn to, one you rely on to complement any menu? a salad you can make ahead and hold for hours in the fridge? something to take to a potluck that everyone will enjoy? a side dish to whip up quickly for an impromptu gathering? Broadway Pea Salad tops my list of "old reliables" to fill these requirements. 

I link this salad with memories of long-ago dinners at Seattle's Broadway Restaurant, and I  know the old Clinkerdagger chain featured it on their menu as well, so this is no newcomer to the party. Oh no, this pea salad with its many variations has been a classic standard in northwest galleys for decades. I think it's the winning combination of a creamy dressing contrasting with salty nuts, the pop of the peas and the satisfying crunch of the other ingredients that make this salad so popular in any season.

This year's Memorial Day dinner with friends featured a fairly traditional menu of BBQ pork ribs, MexiCorn salad, cambozola smashed potatoes, pea salad, and grilled pineapple for dessert. Wet spring weather meant the ribs were oven-baked instead of grilled, but that did not spoil our fun. Can you guess which recipe a guest requested as I packed up a little take-home container? Easy guess, it was the Broadway Pea Salad.

Broadway Green Pea Salad
Serves 6 to 8
adapted from SeattleClassic Cookbook, Seattle Junior League

2 10-oz packages frozen tiny peas, thawed
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup water chestnuts, cut in thin slivers
4 green onions, chopped (red onions work well too)
6+ slices bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled
1/3 cup salted cashews (or pepitas or sunflower seeds)
a generous handful of fresh Parmesan cheese shreds

Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves (optional)

1/2 cup light sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
1/2 cup lite Best Foods mayonnaise (I s'pose Miracle Whip will work)
1 TB minced garlic or a generous sprinkling of garlic powder 
salt and white pepper to taste
a few shakes of hot sauce (Cajun Sunshine, chipotle tabasco, etc.)

Toss together peas, celery, water chestnuts, onion, bacon, and cashews. 
Combine dressing ingredients and blend.  
Add the dressing to the pea mixture, one quarter cup at a time, and toss. Add more dressing and keep tossing until you like the result - you may not want to use all of the dressing. 
Spoon onto lettuce leaves on individual plates, sprinkle with cheese and serve. 
Or, mound in an attractive bowl lined with lettuce leaves, sprinkle with cheese and serve. 
1. Blanched broccoli stalks and raw broccoli heads are a tasty addition or can substitute for the peas. Then you have a terrific Broadway Broccoli Salad.
2. In a rush? Costco's bacon bits will do as a substitute for freshly cooked bacon. The result is OK, but not quite the same. 
3. Too  bland? Add some lemon zest to the topping for a tangy pop of citrus.


  1. I don't remember this salad, but I have absolutely loved the Broadway Restaurant when I lived in Seattle.

  2. This salad is freaking amazing. I remember it so well from eating at Stanley and Seaforts in Tacoma, having been born and raised there, until 2000. I can't stop eating it before dinner. Lol. THANK YOU!


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