RECIPE: Make C. Ellet’s Steakhouse’s Spicy Field Pea Salad



I am a big fan of field peas, and the field pea salad at C. Ellet’s at The Battery is the best cold field pea salad I’ve ever tried. Will they share the recipe? — Andrew Whittaker, Marietta

Chef Christopher Li created this recipe when he saw fresh shelled peas available from a local farmer and learned the peas would be available all summer. “I wanted to get Gulf snapper on the menu because I am originally from Florida and grew up eating this fish, and I wanted something a little more local/regional for our menu in addition to our popular salmon. I thought of a lemony, spicy profile for the salad to complement the crispiness and assertiveness of the snapper skin, and because I just associate those flavors with summer.”

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C. Ellet’s Steakhouse’s Spicy Field Pea Salad
  • 1 tablespoon pure olive oil
  • 1/4 yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/4 red pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 pound fresh pink-eye peas or lady peas
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced Calabrian chiles, stems removed, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm pure olive oil over and add onion, red pepper and celery. Saute until vegetables are translucent and tender, 5-7 minutes.
  • Add peas, bay leaf and just enough water to cover a bit more than half an inch. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until peas are cooked through and tender, but still hold their shape. Periodically skim foam from cooking water.
  • Turn off the head and stir 1 teaspoon salt into water, adding more 1 teaspoon at a time, until water tastes seasoned, but not as salty as the sea. Let peas sit in seasoned cooking liquid at least 30 minutes. Taste a few peas to see if they have absorbed enough salt. If they taste bland, continue steeping another 15 to 20 minutes. Once peas are seasoned, drain and transfer to a large bowl. Let cool completely. Discard bay leaf.
  • Meanwhile, prepared the spicy vinaigrette by whisking together extra-virgin olive oil, ketchup, chiles and vinegar. Pour over cooled peas and add parsley and lemon juice. Taste and add more salt, chiles or lemon juice if needed. The salad should taste sharply of acid and heat. Makes 3 1/2 cups.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per 1/2-cup serving: 96 calories (percent of calories from fat, 38), 4 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 4 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 34 milligrams sodium.

From the menu of ... C. Ellet’s Steakhouse, 2605 Circle 75 Parkway, Atlanta; 678-996-5344,

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