Friday, December 6, 2013

My Great-Grandmother's Green Pea Casserole

When it comes to Thanksgiving, my family is very traditional. I love that we cook the same menu every year, despite all of the beautiful and tempting new recipes in food magazines and blogs. But this year, my husband and I were on our own, so we decided to mix a little new in with the old. Our favorite menu addition was seared brussels sprouts with bacon, a delicious way to add a little green to the menu. On the traditional side of the plate, I made my mom's cornbread dressing and a recipe from my great-grandmother, Dersh: Green Pea Casserole.

My mom resurrected this family recipe a few years ago, and for me, it was love at first bite. Green peas are baked with cream of mushroom soup (it wouldn't be a vintage recipe without that, now would it?), pimentos, toasted almonds, and grated cheese. What's not to love about that?  Now, coming out of the oven, it may not look like much, but it's downright tasty -- creamy and cheesy with a little crunch from the almonds. And for me, being able to cook one of Dersh's recipes is so special.  If you're looking for a "retro" addition to your holiday table this year, you should definitely give this one a try!
Serves 6-8

2 cans LeSueur Very Young Small Sweet Peas, drained
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 2.5oz package sliced or slivered almonds
1 small jar chopped pimentos, drained
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Toast the almonds in a dry pan over medium high heat for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently. Once they have begun to toast and turn golden brown, remove them to a small bowl.

Empty the cream of mushroom soup into a large mixing bowl. Add in the peas, the pimentos, about 3/4 of the almonds, and 1 cup of cheese. Gently stir to combine.

Pour into a greased 8"x8" baking dish. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and almonds.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbly.

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