Split Pea Salad with Warm Bacon-Sherry Vinaigrette

Split Pea Salad with Warm Bacon-Sherry Vinaigrette

Split Pea Salad with Warm Bacon-Sherry Vinaigrette, Sunday Best: Cooking Up the Weekend Spirit Every Day: A Cookbook by Adrienne Cheatham. Photography by Kelly Marshall.

Sunday Best by Adrienne CheathamAt the core of chef Adrienne Cheatham’s debut book is the deep sense that everyday moments should be appreciated, celebrated, and made special for those you love. In this stunning personal collection, Adrienne showcases her signature style of cooking, sharing more than 100 recipes that combine her family’s Southern roots, her classical training in professional kitchens, and her distinct point of view, full of multicultural influences.

Adrienne captures the culinary essence of “Sunday best” with fresh but familiar recipes that include a feast-worthy pork roast crusted with pecans, charred okra roasted with tomatoes and warm spices, skirt steak topped with chimichurri of sharp mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts tossed with a nutty brown butter. She also shares tips and methods for upgrading classic, staple recipes into a dish worth talking about, like a roasted chicken that gets incredibly deep flavour from a marinade made with stout and soy sauce or a split pea salad that suddenly feels special when tossed with a bacon-sherry vinegar glaze.

Full of dishes that will soon be part of your own family’s beloved repertoire, Sunday Best will help you celebrate home cooking every day of the week.

Sunday Best: Cooking Up the Weekend Spirit Every Day: A Cookbook is available at Amazon.com and Indigo.ca.    

Split Pea Salad with Warm Bacon-Sherry Vinaigrette

The Exorcist kind of ruined split peas for a lot of people. But in my husband’s family and in mine, there’s nothing more beloved than a bowl of split pea soup simmered with a hambone. SoI thought I’d take everything great about the flavours of split pea soup and reimagine them as a salad, thereby eliminating the colour and texture associations that tend to turn people off.


1 pound green or yellow split peas (you can also use any colour of lentils), sorted through to remove any stones1

¼ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed

2 small shallots

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 sprigs of thyme

4 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

¼ cup sherry vinegar

3 tablespoons sliced fresh chives

3 cups torn (1-to 2-inch pieces) red lettuce leaves (yes, red; green won’t look pretty)

4 small radishes, thinly sliced

  1. Place the split peas and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a medium pot and fill with enough water to cover the peas by 1 inch. Cut 1 shallot in half lengthwise and add it to the pot along with half of the garlic and all of the thyme sprigs.
  2. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the peas are tender but not mushy or falling apart, about 15 minutes. Drain in a colander, pick out and discard the thyme and shallot, and place the split peas in a medium bowl. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, slice the remaining shallot crosswise into paper-thin rounds. Place the slices in a small bowl with cold water to cover and an ice cube. Soak until ready to use.
  4. Slice the bacon in half lengthwise and slice the strips ¼-inch thick. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat. Drizzle with oil and add the bacon and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is browned and crisp and the fat has rendered, about 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining half of the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Whisk the mustard in followed by the vinegar and the ⅓ cup of the oil. The vinaigrette won’t be fully emulsified, but don’t worry—it’s still a vinaigrette and it will still make the salad delicious.
  5. Use a rubber spatula to scrape all of the warm vinaigrette into the bowl of split peas, then add the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and the chives. Gently fold everything together. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
  6. Drain the shallot slices and transfer them to paper towels. Blot dry, then fold into the split peas.
  7. 7. Place the lettuce and radishes in a large bowl and toss with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt. Gently fold in the split peas and serve.

DOUBLE-DUTY DRESSINGThere’s nothing this vinaigrette doesn’t elevate, from grains of any sort, to spinach leaves and bitter greens like endive and chicory, to simply grilled chicken or pork.

Reprinted from Sunday Best. Copyright © 2022 Adrienne Cheatham with Sarah Zorn. Photographs copyright © 2022 Kelly Marshall. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.

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