Cook With Aloha

This salad says “Springtime” with baby spinach leaves and young snow peas. If the season for fresh peas arrives and you can buy fresh peas in their shells, then by all means, shell the peas, blanch them for only one minute and rinse under cold water.  Dry the fresh peas before adding them to the salad, just as you would if using snow peas.  After blanching and drying snow peas, leave them whole or slice each snow pea in half lengthwise.

Queso blanco is a creamy, soft, and mild white cheese that originated in Spain and spread to Mexico and other countries. The name queso blanco is Spanish for “white cheese”. Similar to other white cheeses called pot cheese and farmer cheese.  It is also compared to a mild feta cheese.  

The dressing for this salad is purposely simple – freshly squeezed lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.  I have not given any measurements for the dressing ingredients – just mix together the dressing ingredients, taste and adjust the flavors until your taste buds are satisfied! The sea salt and pepper shown below come in ready to use grinders – and can be found in most major supermarkets.


4handfuls of fresh baby spinach leaves
1 poundsnow peas, the smaller the better if you have a choice
 OR 1 pound fresh peas in shell (will yield about 1 cup peas)
4 ounces Queso Blanco, crumbled
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt & Black pepper

Wash and thoroughly dry the fresh baby spinach leaves and add to a large salad bowl.  Remove the “stringy” edge of each snow pea from the straight edge of each.  Blanch snow peas for just one minute in boiling water.  Drain and dry snow peas. Cut each snow pea in thin strips if desired or leave whole.

If using fresh peas, about one pound in the shell will yield about 1 cup of fresh peas.  If fresh peas are very young and sweet there should be no need to blanch them and just add them raw to the salad bowl.

Crumble the Queso Blanco into pieces and add to the salad bowl.

Toss the salad ingredients lightly.  Add the juice of ½ a lemon, drizzle on a small amount of the Extra Virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss and then taste the salad.  Adjust the seasoning by adding more lemon, olive oil, and/or salt and pepper.

Plate the salad equally on 4 chilled salad plates.

Yield: 4 servings

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