Michelle Obama is on a crusade to persuade America to eat more healthily. She has her work cut out. 40% of Americans are obese and the Wall Street-watched food industry, is profit, not health, driven. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the average restaurant meal there is now four times larger than it was in 1950.
At face value, food seems a non-contentious, soft "female" subject for the First Lady to tackle, but actually, it is a multi-billion dollar industry and therefore intensely political. All sorts of noses have been put out of joint. Some feel, with several private chefs at her disposal, Obama has no right to lecture others how to eat.
Nonetheless, she has written a book about turning part of the White House garden in to what is basically a posh allotment growing 55 fruits, vegetables and herbs.
It is from the book, American Grown, (via Observer Food Monthly) that this recipe for pea salad is taken. It is a winner. even when using Birds Eye peas, instead of ones that are White House lawn fresh. As with all salads, the power is in the dressing - here lemon, mint and good quality olive oil. But it is pureeing a quarter of the salad's peas, that is its real genius. All hail to the chef Cris Comerford.
We ate ours in the garden alongside a roast leg of lamb studded with garlic and rosemary. I will definitely make it again - to accompany white fish, chicken or with a little crumbly Feta.
Spring Pea Salad
Takes: 7 minutes