Sugar snap peas are one of the best parts of spring: They are sweet, crunchy, and can be eaten raw, which is probably one reason that I eat half of them on my way home from the farmers market. They are a great addition to dishes as they bring so much texture, bright flavor, and vibrant color.
This bold and refreshing salad celebrates the glorious snap pea without overpowering their natural sweet flavor. The dressing is made up of grated garlic—make sure to use a small clove or it might become a little too much—lemon juice, and white miso. The latter ingredient which is more delicate and mild than other varieties of misos and works well for salad dressings and other raw applications, though it can also be used in compound butters and for cooking. The miso and cheese both add a good amount of salt to the dish, so you might find that it’s not necessary to add more, but taste and season as you’d like.
On an average weeknight, you can build the entire salad in the bowl you’re serving it in, grating the garlic and lemon zest directly into it as you prepare the dressing. It’s also a salad that holds up well: Cover and store in the fridge for up to three days, and the snap peas will still be crunchy and even more infused with the dressing. This means it’s a great picnic dish or one to bring to a backyard BBQ.
There are also some easy substitutions and variations that you can do to make this your own. If you don’t like the raw taste of snap peas, then you can blanch them for 30 seconds in boiling water, then transfer them to an ice bath immediately. This makes it so they lose that raw taste but retain their bright color, sweetness, and crunch. Swap the pecorino for parmesan, or even feta, or replace with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast for a vegan option. As for the produce, feel free to add in some thinly sliced radishes for extra color and crunch, or toss in arugula or other delicate salad greens to bulk it up. While black sesame seeds give a pop of color to the dish, white sesame seeds would also work if you have those on hand. And, of course, if you’re not a garlic fan, then you can leave that bit out. —yasminfahr
- Prep time 30 minutes
- Serves 4
small garlic clove, grated or minced
medium lemon, zested and juiced (about 1 tablespoon of zest and 2 tablespoons of juice)
extra-virgin olive oil
snap peas, trimmed and cut as desired (I like them halved crosswise for easier mixing and eating)
(15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
scallions, light green and white parts only, sliced
grated pecorino, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
white or black sesame seeds
fresh mint leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped or torn
- In the bottom of a medium serving bowl, whisk the miso and garlic with the lemon zest, juice, and olive oil until smooth and the miso dissolves. Add the snap peas, chickpeas, scallions and grated pecorino, tossing to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, as needed. Top with the sesame seeds, mint, and more pecorino and serve.