Sugar Snap Pea and Radish Salad
When sugar snaps are in season, I tend to eat them raw, because they’re so sweet and tender. I do like to crisp them up a little, though, in a bowl of salted ice water for 10 or 15 minutes before slicing them. Of course, if you prefer, you can cook them first by dropping them into a big pot of boiling water and letting them cook no longer than 10 seconds, giving them one good stir, then immediately draining and transferring to a big bowl of ice water.
You might balk at the thought of slivering all those peas, but please don’t! It really only takes a few minutes and it will give you a chance to practice your knife skills. Personally, I look forward to meditative tasks like this one, and I don’t think of them as drudgery. Cutting the snap peas in this way makes them a joy to eat, and to look at, and also lets them absorb the dressing in a way that whole snap peas never could.
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 1/4 pounds sugar snap peas, strings removed
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as safflower or grapeseed
- 1/2 cup slivered fresh mint leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
- 6 to 8 radishes, sliced paper thin, preferably on a mandolin
Remove the strings from the sugar snap peas and soak the peas in salted ice water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice the sugar snaps lengthwise into 2 or 3 slices, depending on their size, keeping track of the little peas that jump out.
In a small bowl, combine the shallots, vinegar, honey mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and season with pepper. Let sit if you’re not in a rush to let the shallots soften. Otherwise, slowly whisk in the oil. Toss the dressing with the snap peas and toss in the slivered mint and radishes. Sprinkle on more salt and pepper and some whole mint leaves.
Up to 1 day ahead: Make the dressing and string the snap peas.
Up to a few hours ahead: Crisp and cut the peas; store in the fridge.
At the last minute: Toss everything together.
Recipe reprinted with permission from “Open Kitchen” by Susan Spungen, published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright 2019 by Susan Spungen.