This morning I read Sara’s latest post on Sprouted Kitchen. It’s a beautiful reflection on 10 years of blogging and it made me realize that I’m pretty sure my 10 year anniversary came and went without fanfare. But it’s worth noting (as Sara did beautifully). This space, as we all do, has evolved. Some of its evolution has been intentional, some of it has not. As blogs have taken a dip in popularity and prominence I’ve stepped away from this space as other areas in my life have taken precedence. But I always come back here because this is where it all began for me.
In this space I found myself. I found my love of food writing, recipe development and food photography. This space taught me how to do those things. In the midst of the extremely challenging season of raising three young children this space was mine. It was my sanctuary. My creative place where I could interact with other adults and you all encouraged me in this work when the rest of my day offered very little encouragement.
While other blogs lay abandoned, I don’t want that for this space because I need it. I’m not sure how many of you are still here (I’m incredibly grateful for each and every one) but this space has always been incredibly personal for me. It’s where I sort through my thoughts, where I’ve shared incredibly intimate parts of my life and where I’ve talked about food and life intermingling. For awhile I backed away from vulnerability here as I recovered from an intense vulnerability hangover after Date Night In came out. And even today as I write this I battle the inner critic who is continually telling me to just get to the damn recipe. But this place has never just been about the recipes has it? It’s always been about the lives around the food. It’s our dining table conversations. It’s you and I at the table surrounded by food that reminds us that beauty abounds in this broken world. We talk about the brokenness and the goodness. We raise a glass and toast to our humanity. In all its imperfect glory.
I am not the same person I was when I began this blog. And I won’t be the same person five or ten years from now when I hope this place is still a part of my life.
I’m not sure where I’m going with all of this but I’m here, I hope you are too and I’m not going anywhere. Thank you for being here, for supporting this work. You all have made my passion my career. Whoa. Because of you all I get to wake up and work my ass off providing for my family doing the work I love to do and I truly feel I was created to do. Good sweet Lord, thank you.
Now let’s talk about this freaking salad because I have many people who are waiting for this recipe. I’ve made it at least a dozen times this season. Always without a recipe because that’s my favorite way to cook – relying on instinct, being present and tasting all along the way. But I come here to share this recipe because it has brought me great joy and that needs to be shared.
It’s an hommage to the humble pea in all its splendor. English peas, sugar snap peas and pea vines mingle with herbs, lemon, olive oil, pistachios and pecorino to honor spring and the peas that are among the first to sprout. It’s simple in execution and ingredients and yet people believe magic is involved. The magic is in the beauty of the ingredients themselves. Our job is simple.
Feel free to use this recipe as a guide and let your own tastebuds guide you. Trust yourself.
Spring Pea Salad
6 ounces pea vines
2 cups thinly sliced sugar snap peas
2 cups freshly shucked or frozen peas, blanched
1/4 cup chopped dill
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup finely grated pecorino
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup pistachios
Toss the pea vines in a bit of olive oil and sea salt then grill or broil until charred in parts, about 3-4 minutes.
In a large bowl combine the sugar snap peas, blanched peas, herbs and pecorino. Toss with olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir in the pistachios and finish with flake salt. Some freshly cracked black pepper is nice too. Taste and adjust as you see fit.
Keep on, Ashley. Your blog is always a pleasure to read and savor.
Thank you so much, Anne.
Thank you for sharing. I have always loved your site, photography, recipes and writing. Thank you for being an inspiration.
Thank you so much, Erica!! Such kind and generous words. So encouraging.
I’m still here! Love everything about your site, always. <3
Also – this pea salad! Can hardly wait to try it.
Thank you, Sis! I always love reading your comments.
Still here. 🙂 I have both of your books, and I love to read your blog also.
Thanks, Anya!! I so appreciate you being here.
Beautiful page, attractive recipe, lovely text.
One thing. Even though recipe is just a “guide”, at what point does one mingle the roasted pea vines????
Great question.I usually lay the pea vines as a base.
I have loved your blog for years. Your recipes are without a doubt amazing, but what kept me coming back were the stories about your family that intertwined with the food in such a lovely way. Please don’t ever doubt that part of the blog or deny us your beautiful writing.