Monday, June 15, 2009

Sugar Snap Peas

A few weeks ago I planted a row of sugar snap peas in the garden, and what a treat! A few weeks of watering and sun and voila, I've got pea pods. Anyone who has ever had a vegetable garden or even a pot of chives growing in the window sill knows what I'm talking about. Now if only I can restrain myself from picking one or two off a day and munching on them right there on-the-spot, then I may soon have enough for a salad.

One of the finer points of growing your own vegetables is choosing the perfect recipe to highlight your home grown delicacies. Snap peas are best eaten raw or briefly cooked (really just for one minute), such as in stir-fries or quick sautes.

Martha Stewart has a classic yet simple recipe for sugar snap peas with mint dressing and Canadian Living has a fresh recipe for steamed fingerling potatoes and sugar snap peas with mint. The New York Times has a terrific sounding recipe for sugar snap pea salad with radishes, mint and ricotta salata.

Here are two recipes that I'm going to try just as soon as I have enough snap peas hanging from the vines:

Sugar Snap Pea and Radish Salad (serves 4)
Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2008

1 pound sugar snap peas, ends trimmed, and halved crosswise if desired
4 radishes, sliced paper-thin
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place sugar snap peas, radishes, lemon zest, lemon juice, and oil in a serving bowl. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Lemon-Mint Snap Peas & Lima Beans (serves 4-6)
Source: EatWell

1 small shallot, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
10 ounces frozen baby lima beans, thawed

Whisk shallot, oil, lemon juice, mint, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a medium saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Steam snap peas and lima beans until the snap peas are tender-crisp and the lima beans are heated through, 5 to 7 minutes. Toss with the vinaigrette.

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