I’ve made this salad at least a dozen times since snap peas appeared at the market. I’m crazy for it. It’s dead-simple to throw together, but it looks like a million bucks on the plate. It’s equally suited to a solo desk lunch, or as an impressive dinner party starter. I’ve brought it along on picnics, each element prepped ahead of time, and then thrown it together in minutes on site. (Scale up for a larger crowd.) It’s fresh and bright and wonderful and—please just try it.
This isn’t a salad of precision—add more of whichever ingredient you like best. You can use a big ball of burrata for this salad (tear it up with your hands), but I also like using smaller burratini; in this case, I usually dice instead of tear. You could also use a ball of regular, soft mozzarella, if you can’t find burrata.
I prefer breakfast radishes when I can find them, but the recipe doesn’t demand it. Substitute or add your favorite herbs, especially fennel fronds. Cured ham or fava beans would make this more of a meal. Serve with plenty of crusty bread, for sopping up the vinaigrette. Finally, it’s worth springing for a high-quality finishing olive oil and sea salt here—it makes a difference.
(I'm taking the liberty of assuming that salt, pepper, and olive oil count as pantry staples...) —Cristina Sciarra
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Cristina Sciarra is the blogger behind The Roaming Kitchen and is a lover of ice cream.
WHAT: A dead-simple salad of every spring thing (radishes! peas! burrata!).
HOW: Layer thinly sliced radishes, snap peas, and chives over a torn ball of burrata, shower with lemon and olive oil, eat joyfully.
WHY WE LOVE IT: A salad much more than the sum of its parts but where each ingredient is allowed to shine. We loved the way the lemon enhanced the snap peas, while the burrata gave the salad a wonderful creaminess. We'd love to serve it at a dinner party (or eat it alone on the porch after a trip to the market). —The Editors
Prep the vegetables: Scrub the radishes well, and then trim off the greens and whiskery end bits. Slice the radishes thinly, on a mandoline or by hand, or simply quarter them. Wash the snap peas, trim each end, and pull away the connective strings. Slice the snap peas on a bias. Mince the chives.
Set out a large plate and break the burrata into pieces. (You can dice the burrata, but it’s just as easy to tear it into pieces and hand-scatter across the plate.) Now spread the radishes over the burrata, and then the snap peas, and then the chives. Juice and zest the lemon over the plate, and drizzle a generous measure of olive oil over everything. Finish with sea salt (I used about 1/8 teaspoon), and several cracks of black pepper. Serve with bread for mopping.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.