Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. You'll love these other fresh salad ideas.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Spring Pea Salad with Crunchy Nut Topping Recipe

Since salads are not as prevalent during the winter, having a fresh and healthy option when spring rolls around is so welcome! This spring pea salad with hardboiled eggs, creamy homemade dressing, and crunchy nut topping is everything a new season should highlight. And the best part is that it’s fully customizable, so any desired toppings can be swapped in to taste.

Why this recipe works.

I am a lifelong defender of a good salad. A good salad is not the salad I was raised on. I grew up with a salad being a part of most meals, but usually, they consisted of boring bottled dressing that drowned out any other flavor. The boring salads are often relegated as the “healthy” option and overlooked with the rest of the meal. Enter this spring pea salad with a crunchy nut topping. This recipe is pushing all other salads aside and is taking center stage. The idea centers around a traditional mid-western pea salad with peas and a mayonnaise-based dressing. This recipe takes the best ingredients of that salad and makes it fresh and exciting. The dressing has some mayonnaise but is balanced with fresh herbs and lemon juice. The peas are tossed with fresh greens and crisp crunchy topping that will change how salads are viewed.

Two wooden tongs pulling up a serving a spring pea salad from large white serving platter topped with crunchy nut topping and hardboiled eggs and feta cheese.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Marcona almonds may not be a standard pantry item, but they should be. They have a higher fat content than traditional almonds, giving a richer, butterier flavor.
  • Frozen peas are an easy way to enjoy fresh-tasting peas without any work. Peas are blanched and par-cooked before freezing, so no cooking is needed. Simply remove them from the freezer and allow them to thaw before using.
  • Hardboiled eggs are a great way to add protein and texture to a salad. For a perfect hard boil, start eggs in cool water and bring them to a boil. Once boiling, cover, turn off the heat, and allow them to cook for 12 minutes.
  • Fresh lettuce is essential for a good crisp texture. Use a leafy romaine for a sturdy green that can hold up to the dressing and peas.
  • Dill and parsley add fresh flavor to the dressing. The herbs lend almost a ranch-like flavor but with more of a fresh edge.
White marble surface filled with all ingredients needed to make a spring pea salad including lettuce, peas, lemon, honey, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, feta, salt, and more.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

  1. Prepare the crunchy topping. In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Chop the Macrona almonds into small pieces. Once the butter is melted, add the almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, honey, salt, and black pepper. Mix everything together and let toast. After 4 to 6 minutes, the mixture should be golden. Remove it from the heat and pour it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool completely.
  1. Prepare the dressing. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, minced dill, minced parsley, shallot, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Whisk the ingredients together until well combined.
  1. Assemble the salad. In a large serving platter, rip the lettuce into large pieces. Add some of the salad dressing and toss the lettuce to coat it. Sprinkle the frozen and thawed peas on top of the lettuce, along with the sliced hardboiled eggs and crumbled feta cheese. Finish with the crunchy nut topping. Serve immediately.

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • When choosing nuts for the crunchy nut topping, note whether they are roasted and salted. If you purchase salted nuts, leave out the added salt in the topping recipe. Once the nuts are toasted and removed from the heat, taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  • Once the dressing has been mixed together, taste it for flavoring! Use a bit of the lettuce to sample the dressing, checking for salt and acidity levels.
  • Rather than adding the salad dressing at the very end, add it in layers. After the lettuce has been added, drizzle with some of the dressing. Toss the lettuce to make sure it is coated. Then add more salad dressing at the end to balance everything out.
Two hands holding wooden tongs scooping up serving of salad from large white serving platter filled with spring pea salad topped with peas, feta cheese, hardboiled eggs, and creamy dressing, all on white marble surface.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

For the crunchy nut topping, can regular almonds be used in place of the Marcona almonds?

Yes, regular almonds can be used. Marcona almonds are always purchased toasted, whereas regular almonds can be purchased roasted or raw. Use roasted regular almonds.

Should the crunchy nut topping use roasted or unroasted nuts?

The items should be pre-roasted. The mixture quickly cooks with a glaze on the stove but does not have enough time to toast the items.

How long does this salad last once prepared?

Like with any salad, once dressed, it is best consumed immediately. Over time the dressing will wilt and break down the greens, and the crunchy topping will soften.

What is the best type of lettuce to use for this salad?

Fresh, crisp romaine is the best lettuce. It is sturdy and will stand up to the heavy toppings and dressing used.

Brown parchment paper sitting on small baking sheet with crunchy nut and seed topping cooling after coming out of the oven.
This crunchy nut and seed topping is delicious to eat on this salad, but also all on its own!

You’ll love these other fresh salad ideas.

Watch how to make this recipe.

Easter recipes to make

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you can let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they, too, can make, enjoy, and love!

Large white serving platter sitting on white marble surface with lettuce, hardboiled eggs, nut topping, and creamy dressing all over the salad.

Spring Pea Salad with Crunchy Nut Topping

5 from 8 votes
Since salads are not as prevalent during the winter, having a fresh and healthy option when spring rolls around is so welcome! This spring pea salad with hardboiled eggs, creamy homemade dressing, and crunchy nut topping is everything a new season should highlight. And the best part is that it’s fully customizable, so any desired toppings can be swapped in to taste.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

For the crunchy nut topping

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup Marcona almonds chopped
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

For the dressing

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley minced
  • 1 tbsp minced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

For the salad

  • 1-2 large heads romaine lettuce washed and dried
  • 1 ½ cups frozen and thawed peas
  • 4 large hardboiled eggs sliced
  • 4 oz feta cheese

Instructions
 

For the crunchy nut topping

  • Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
    1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Add the almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, honey, salt, and pepper. Stir the mixture together and cook, turning the heat down as needed to ensure the mixture doesn't burn. Cook until the mixture clumps together and the skillet looks dry, 4-6 minutes.
    ½ cup Marcona almonds, ¼ cup sunflower seeds, 2 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 tbsp honey, ¼ tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Pour the mixture onto parchment paper and let cool.

For the dressing

  • In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, dill, parsley, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
    ½ cup mayonnaise, 3 tbsp buttermilk, 1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp fresh dill, 2 tbsp fresh parsley, 1 tbsp minced shallot, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp black pepper

For the salad

  • Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces and toss with the preferred amount of the dressing. Add the peas over the greens, sprinkle with the prepared eggs, and add more dressing as needed. Top with crumbled feta and the prepared nut mixture. Serve immediately.
    1-2 large heads romaine lettuce, 1 ½ cups frozen and thawed peas, 4 large hardboiled eggs, 4 oz feta cheese

Notes

  • When choosing nuts for the crunchy nut topping, note whether they are roasted and salted. If you purchase salted nuts, leave out the added salt in the topping recipe. Once the nuts are toasted and removed from the heat, taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  • Once the dressing has been mixed together, taste it for flavoring! Use a bit of the lettuce to sample the dressing, checking for salt and acidity levels.
  • Rather than adding the salad dressing at the very end, add it in layers. After the lettuce has been added, drizzle with some of the dressing. Toss the lettuce to make sure it is coated. Then add more salad dressing at the end to balance everything out.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 442kcal
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Difficulty Easy
Method Cooking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Enjoy all the different things you have going on. My great grand daughter loves me to have you on you have a up and coming 3year old who loves your style of making movies for she and I to watch thank you your Great.

  2. 5 stars
    I made the crunchy spring salad.OMG! This salad was freaking fabulous.Even my very picky other half would like to have it again!!! The only swap I made was full fat Greek yogurt. I use Fage.This was a big time hit.Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    I have made this at least once every week for my lunch. It is so good and filling and made with fresh ingredients from our garden. The nut and seed topping is so good I can eat that by itself!

  4. 5 stars
    This salad is amazing!! I always double the dressing and crunchy topping to keep around for more than just one meal. The dressing is like the best ranch you’ve ever had, yet it’s not quite ranch. 🤷‍♀️. Make this—you won’t be sorry!