Pea, peanut and hominy salad (experimental)

It’s an idea more than a recipe at this point. I’ve been thinking about two different types of salads I grew up with, the sweet and sour dressed 3-bean salad and the pea and cheese salad, often coated in a thick mayo dressing. Both of these salads are often made for potlucks and barbecues, but I wondered how I could put my own spin on them while adding a few ingredients I’ve come to love.

I knew that I wanted to include green peas and peanuts. Yes, peanuts. In Asian cooking they are commonly used in soups and salads, and I feel they haven’t been given enough street cred in American cooking. Just this past weekend I made a big bowl of noodle soup and threw a tablespoon of peanuts on top with a few chopped green onions — YUM.

I considered a broad range of options for the third item to complete the trinity, and settled for golden hominy. Hominy is the inside of a piece of corn, it expands when the outer corn shell is removed and looks like a puffy piece of corn. I’ve never used hominy but liked the idea of something yellow and thought the corn flavor would go well with peas and peanuts.

The salad is made of equal parts of green peas, peanuts, and hominy. I used thawed frozen peas, dry roasted peanuts, and canned hominy. For the dressing, I didn’t want to go the creamy route, so decided to make a vinaigrette. Being on an Asian kick, I decided to include chopped red chili peppers for a bit of spice and color. I made a sesame oil vinaigrette with lots of fresh minced ginger. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any cilantro on hand or it would have been included in the salad too.

I mixed the ingredients then topped with a bit of shredded spinach and more red chili slices. I did like the combination of textures – the peas were tender and squishy, the peanuts crunchy, and the hominy was firm and somewhat chewy. The dressing overpowered the flavor of the peas and hominy, so a change would be needed. Overall, it wasn’t bad but has plenty of room for improvement.

Next time, I’m going to play with the dressing and make it less powerful, and likely less Asian. I may play with the trinity a bit too, not sure if hominy will make the final cut or not. I have a few other ideas that I’d like to try, including a variety of different beans. It’s good that I’ve started playing with this now so I’ll be ready for the first barbecue of Summer.

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  • Peter M March 11, 2008, 1:31 pm

    Allen, I have a bag of hominy grits I found for a buck…not sure yet what to do w/ them.

  • Allen March 11, 2008, 2:06 pm

    Grits are a very Southern thing in the states — I’m surprised you found a bag that far north!

    I haven’t used grits before but there are alot of options, from breakfast to dinner. Most often they’re cooked like polenta as a side dish, either soft or fried. But they can be added to muffins, souffles, biscuits, etc. I bet you’ll give them a nice Greek twist and ‘wow’ us all :-)

  • Peter G March 11, 2008, 2:48 pm

    Great experimentation in the kitchen Allen. Again, I seem to be learning all these new ingredients. Like hominy, which I’d never heard of before. I love the fact that you used an Asian dressing. It sounds so zesty.

  • Ben March 11, 2008, 7:36 pm

    Looks good. I am with Peter G here, it sounds zesty and I am craving something zesty right now. :-/

  • Rachel March 19, 2008, 4:44 pm

    The Peas and Corn/mayo salad. 24 hour salad? Such a southern thing. I actually just made that last week for a bible study thing :-) Damn it’s good :-) lOL.

  • Allen March 19, 2008, 5:04 pm

    Rachel — what’s the 24-hour salad? We had a salad that consisted of peas, small cubes of cheese, and some onion in a mayo/sour cream dressing. No corn though :-)

  • Anonymous March 22, 2008, 5:22 pm

    Cauliflower would be good instead of the Hominy or if you want something with about the same consistency you might try Garbanzo beans. I love making new recipes and what we call Experimental Food. Good Luck 8)))
    In KY

  • Jim October 7, 2009, 12:57 am

    i read you post.. how do you get the hull removed on the corn to make the hominy “puffy”ll I had a pasole at a truck stop in and the texture and flavor of that pasole was wonderful I try to describe the “puffy” corn to some mexican friends of mine and i think they just dont get it.. Im trying to recreate this but cant figure out how to make the “puffy” hominy.. Hope you read this cuz i cant find the answer anywhere :)/…. thank you


  • Allen October 16, 2009, 1:22 pm

    Jim – I’m not sure how to make hominy (i.e. puffy corn). I purchased canned hominy from the grocery store in the states where it’s readily available in most markets. Sorry, I can’t be of more help.

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