Field Pea Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

Field peas, tomatoes, and feta make the perfect summer side dish.

Field Pea Salad with Tomatoes and Feta
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Cook Time:
5 mins
Active Time:
45 mins
Stand Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs

Field Pea Salad is a Southern summer rite of passage. The South is home to countless heirloom varieties of field peas; in this recipe for Field Pea Salad with Tomatoes and Feta, we call for lady peas. "Sweet and tender lady peas remain creamy white or light green even after they have been cooked. And unlike other field peas, lady peas (also called Lady Cream peas) produce a clear, not cloudy, potlikker," writes Sheri Castle for Southern Living. Lady peas are less starchy than other field peas with a mild earthiness that's just delicious. Be sure to source your field peas locally if you can; look for lady peas at farmers markets and farm stands—you'll most often find them pre-shelled. Combined with an herby dressing and feta cheese, they add brightness to any veggie plate.

When cooking your peas, follow the lead of our Test Kitchen pros with some handy hacks. Letting the peas stand in their cooking liquid for a few minutes helps them to relax, so that the texture is super-creamy and the seasonings permeate throughout. This pea and tomato salad can be packed up and enjoyed on a picnic or lounging poolside. To make this dish into a full meal, simply add some grilled chicken on top.


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 1 pound shelled fresh lady peas or purple hull peas (about 4 cups)

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot (from 1 [2-oz.] shallot)

  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup)


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in peas, 2 cups water, bay leaf, ¾ teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Bring water to a boil over medium-high. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until peas are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Drain; remove and discard bay leaf.

  2. Whisk together oil, shallot, mustard, thyme, lemon zest and juice, and remaining ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add pea mixture, tomatoes, and parsley; toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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