Spring Fever has officially hit. Mulch is in the air, mini-skirts are on the streets, and farmers’ markets are in full bloom.
I couldn’t resist these brilliant green sugar snap peas the other day. Sweet, crunchy, and juicy, I’ve even been chomping on them raw. Grassy and tender, they taste like pure Spring.
Snap peas are a cross between snow peas and garden peas. Like the snow pea, the pods are edible; like the garden pea, the pods are round rather than flat. When sugar snap peas are young and in-season like they are now, you don’t even need to “de-string” them (removing that pesky fibrous strand that runs lengthwise from tip to tip), making them perfect for an easy, light salad.
I blanched the snap peas first for a few minutes before shocking them in an ice bath. This made them tender but still delightfully crunchy. For texture, I shelled half of them, popping out the little round peas, and then julienned the empty pods into matchsticks. The remaining half of the snap peas I left whole, although, you could certainly continue slicing up the whole bunch.
To the sugar snap peas, I added a handful of refreshing mint, toasted almonds, and sweet caramelized onions. The dish is finished off with a simple, brightly acidic vinaigrette of lemon, rice vinegar, and olive oil.
This vibrant, fresh green salad is an interesting alternative to your normal leafy salad. It would also make a great substitution for coleslaw given all the crunchy textures.
A perfect spring salad of tender sugar snap peas, refreshing mint, toasted almonds, and caramelized onions.
Recipe Source: LickMySpoon.com.
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This post was published on KQED’s Bay Area Bites on April 15, 2011.