Zucchini and Snap Peas with Sesame Oil and Salt

June 30, 2011
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  • Serves 4 as a side dish
Author Notes

This is unfussy, unfancy food for a summer evening on the deck, preferably after a day at the farmers' market sniffing and tasting and buying beautiful produce. We're talking baby zucchini and fresh snap peas, blanched until still crunchy, coated with sesame oil and sprinkled with flaky sea salt. Yea, that's it. And you know what? it's really good.

If you can't find baby zucchini, you can use regular zucchini cut into 1/2-inch coins. —Rivka

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound baby zucchini, ends trimmed
  • 1 pound snap peas, ends and center "string" removed
  • 3-4 tablespoons sesame oil
  • flaky salt
  1. Put a pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add baby zucchini to the pot and cook 1 minute. Add snap peas, cook 1 minute more, and drain. You’re serving these vegetables warm, so no need to use an ice bath; instead, you just slightly undercook them, and they cook the rest of the way while cooling. If using regular zucchini cut into coins, add at the same time as the snap peas, and cook for just about 1 minute, maybe 10 seconds more.
  2. Drain vegetables well, wiping with a towel if necessary. You want them completely dry, or else the sesame oil will just gather with the water at the bottom of the platter and form a not-so-delicious liquid. Let's avoid that.
  3. Transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with sesame oil, enough so that when you give the platter a few shakes, all the vegetables look thinly coated. Then sprinkle some flaky salt over the whole dish. Taste one. Does it need more oil? More salt? Adjust seasoning accordingly. Serve now, or later. They’re great at room temperature, too.
  4. If you’d prefer, you can serve the vegetables plain on a platter, and put out the salted sesame oil in a bowl for dipping. I think I actually prefer the dish this way, but both methods work just great.
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