I love when I stumble upon a better cooking technique, so I’m passing it on to you. Until now, I laboriously removed the tip/tail and tried to pull the string off each sugar snap and snow pea pod before blanching them. One evening, I hastily dumped the peas directly into the boiling water. When they were crunch tender, I plunged them into cold water to stop the cooking process, and realized I hadn’t removed the strings. Yikes! To my amazement, the strings easily pulled off with the added benefit of the vitamins remaining in each pod and not in the water. Yeah! When buying sugar snap and snow peas, look for plump, crisp unblemished pods with a bright green color.
Make this delicious green olive and herb dipping sauce the next time you ask friends over for drinks before dining out. It tastes especially good with sugar snap and snow peas and all crudités.
Add this Mediterranean flavored chicken salad to your repertoire this summer for a weekend lunch on the deck or porch.
Nearly everyone loves fried rice … so why not make Asian style vegetable stir-fried brown rice for a meatless Monday night supper next week? Bon Appetit!
Sugar Snap And Snow Pea Appetizer With Green Olive And Herb Dip(Hors d’oeuvres for 6 to 8)1 pound fresh sugar snap and snow peas (about 1/2 pound each)
Large pot boiling water for blanching
2 teaspoons sea salt
Large bowl ice water for cooling
For the green olive and herb dipping sauce:
1/3 cup brine-cured pitted olives
1 small shallot, chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley leaves
About 1/4 cup chives, snipped
About 1/4 cup basil leaves
6 or 7 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 cups good quality mayonnaise
1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder or more to taste
Fresh lemon juice to taste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to tasteTo prepare:In a large stockpot over high heat, add two to three quarts of water, salt and bring to a boil. Drop the sugar snap and snow peas into the water and blanch until they turn a beautiful dark green and are crunch tender, about 1 minute. Do not over cook; test one after 45 seconds. Immediately remove vegetables from the water and plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking process. Transfer the pea pods to a strainer and drain off excess water. With a sharp knife or your fingers, pull strings off the pods and trim the tips and tails. Can be done ahead, wrapped in paper towels and refrigerated in a zip lock bag.
For the dipping sauce: Working in a mini chop or food processor fitted with the stainless steel blade, add olives, shallot, parsley, chives, basil, mint, mayonnaise, and curry powder. Process until blended. Taste and adjust the seasonings, with a few drops of lemon juice or salt or pepper. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. Can be refrigerated for 5 days.
To serve: Place the dip in the center of a pretty platter and arrange sugar snap and snow peas around it.Mediterranean Style Chicken, Sugar Snap And Snow Pea Salad (Serves 4 but can be scaled up in direct proportions)1 medium head romaine lettuce, washed and spun dry
About 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves, washed and spun dry
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced or more to taste
4 cooked chicken breasts (leftover from dinner is perfect) cut into bite-size pieces
About 1 1/2 cups sugar snap and snow peas, blanched and well drained
8 to 10 sundried tomatoes, packed in oil, slivered or more to taste
12 to 16 pitted Kalamata olives or more to taste
Lemon wedges for garnish
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon boiling water
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
About 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or more if needed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to tasteTo prepare:Cut the romaine lettuce into thin slices (chiffonade) and transfer to a bowl, add spinach leaves and toss together. Transfer the greens to a large platter or divide them among dinner plates. Scatter onion over the greens and attractively arrange chicken, sugar snap and snow peas, sundried tomatoes, and olives on top. Can be done ahead, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until serving time.
For the dressing: Working in a small bowl, whisk mustard with boiling water. Whisk in vinegar, lemon juice and slowly add the olive oil whisking until blended. Add salt and pepper, taste and adjust the seasonings.
To serve the salad: Garnish the plates with lemon wedges, drizzle a little dressing over the whole affair and pass the remaining dressing at the table. Serve with hot whole grain bread.Asian Style Vegetable Stir-Fried Brown Rice(Serves 4 as a side dish)2 to 3 tablespoons peanut oil (or avocado oil)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 stalks celery, sliced
10 to 12 mushrooms, sliced
3 carrots, peeled, shredded
4 to 5 cups cooked brown rice pilaf
1 generous cup snow peas, blanched, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup raisins
1 teaspoon sesame oil or more to taste
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce, or more to taste
Fresh lemon thyme leaves plus few sprigs for garnishTo prepare:In a large skillet over moderate high heat, add peanut oil and when hot, add onion, stir-fry until aromatic. Add garlic, celery, and mushrooms and stir-fry about three to four minutes. Stir in carrots and rice and sauté about three to four minutes or until the vegetables are tender and rice is hot, adding oil if necessary to facilitate the process. For flavor, add sesame oil and tamari, taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in the snow peas and thyme leaves and toss gently. Transfer to warm serving bowls or dinner plates, garnish with sprigs of lemon thyme and serve at once.
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