Last week, sugar snap peas finally made their first appearance at the farmers’ market – an exciting sight that makes you want to grab one and sink your teeth into the snappy pod right then and there. And that snappiness is exactly what I wanted to highlight in this lively salad. The barely blanched sweet pods remain crisp, while the pea microgreens bring another layer of crunchiness as well as pure pea flavor.
But to me, all that sweet, green, crunchy goodness needed a strong counterpoint. That’s when the idea of making a ginger-curry vinaigrette came to mind. As I went to work, I realized that not only did I want the richness of the spices to complement the sweet peas, but I wanted the vinaigrette to have some kick, too. So fresh ginger and cayenne found their way into the vinaigrette.
Every bite of this salad is pure indulgence. The peas are delightfully crunchy and sweet, while the vinaigrette bursts with exotic and spirited flavors.
I can’t think of a more delicious way to eat your greens.
Food & wine pairing: Dry Riesling with sugar snap peas and pea microgreens salad
A dry Riesling, with its exotic, plush flavors and great acidity, is lovely with this salad. How about trying one from lesser known regions, like Slovenia, Kamptal in Austria or Limarí in Chile? You’ll find that there’s a lot to discover and savor.
Sugar snap peas and pea microgreens with ginger-curry vinaigrette
active time: 25 min
For the vinaigrette
- 1 small shallot – skinned and quartered
- 1 small garlic clove – skinned
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger root (use a microplane grater)
- 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- 1 tablespoon aged sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the salad
- 1 tablespoon sea salt for the blanching water
- 1 1/4 lbs (565 g) sugar snap peas – stem end trimmed
- 6 medium leaves Boston lettuce
- 2 oz (55 g) pea microgreens (or trimmed pea sprouts)
- Step 1: To make the vinaigrette — Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until very smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Step 2: To blanch the peas — Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes. Set aside. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the salt and the sugar snap peas. Blanch the peas for 3 minutes until tender, but still crunchy. Drain and transfer to the ice water bath until cool. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- Step 3: To assemble the salad – Place a lettuce leaf in the center of each plate. Place a few sugar snap peas in the center of the leaf. Top with a small amount of the pea microgreens. Repeat until both peas and microgreens have been used up. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve.