Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Despite the {mostly negative} chatter I seem to be hearing regarding the new Bon Appétit magazine, I have to say I'm loving it. Frankly, new or old style, I've always enjoyed BA. But, now I'm really enjoying it.
For those of you who may not be as engrossed in the world of food magazine's as I am, Bon Appétit has a new editor-in-chief. They have for about 6 months now, but it's only been in the past couple of months that the changes have really become evident.
What are these changes? What stands out most for me is the food photography and the overall styling of the magazine. When I pick up a food magazine and want to not only cook every recipe, but also re-create the exact meal, dish by dish...then it's a winner in my book.
Along with many folks in America, I was on the lookout for some delicious looking, picnic-style foods for the Fourth of July holiday. It just so happened that this month's issue had a delicious and brilliantly photographed spread devised specifically for a Fourth of July picnic...how perfect!
I wanted to make every single item on the menu, but this year I had many dinners to attend during the holiday week {thanks to a 2 week long visit from my sister & nieces} and for most of them I was in charge of bringing a veggie side, or salad. In the end, I made this salad twice...for two different groups of people. Which was actually ideal, as it gave me a chance to change some things I wasn't wild about the first time around. The photographs here are from the first go-around. I used feta cheese, because the ricotta salata that the recipe called for was unavailable to me. I also added the full 2 tablespoons of fresh mint suggested...I thought it was bit too much. I'm a big fan of mint...in things like iced tea, ice cream, or for making mojitos. But, when it comes to a simple salad such as this, it can easily dominate to the point where you can't taste anything else.
My final version is what's shown in the printable recipe at the bottom of this post. If you can get your hands on some ricotta salata, than you most definitely should {I was able to find it at Whole Foods}. As it takes this salad from perfectly good, to fabulous...in a crave-able kind of way. I also recommend adding the mint, and dressing to suit your personal tastes. You can always add more, but taking away is a bit more tricky.

Begin by preparing 10 ounces of sugar snap peas, by trimming the ends and cutting them in half. Prepare an ice bath and set aside. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and blanch the snap peas for 2 minutes. Drain, and transfer to the ice bath to cease cooking. Once cold, drain again, and lay them out on a kitchen towel to dry.

Next, trim and thinly slice 1/2 a bunch of radishes. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and add in the blanched snap peas.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar, and a 1/2 teaspoon sumac. Pour over the pea and radish mixture, toss to combine. Add 4 ounces crumbled ricotta salata {or feta cheese},

season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper {to taste}, and toss gently. Before serving, garnish with a sprinkle of chopped mint and sumac.

Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Adapted from Bon Appétit, July 2011
Serves 4-6
Ricotta salata is an Italian sheep's milk cheese. The name "ricotta" means "re-cooked" in Italian, and indicates the process in which the cheese is made. It is unrelated to what American's have come to know as "ricotta cheese". The texture is firm and dry, with a salty, mild flavor. I am a big fan of this cheese, but it can be difficult to find in markets. If you're unable to find it, feta cheese can be substituted. I have made this salad both ways, and while delicious using either cheese, the ricotta salata is a clear winner.

10 ounces sugar snap peas {trimmed & cut in half}
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sumac {plus extra for garnish, if desired}
1/2 bunch radishes {trimmed & thinly sliced}
4 ounces ricotta salata {crumbled}
1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint {or to taste}
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare an ice bath, set aside. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, blanch the snap peas for 2 minutes. Drain, and transfer to the ice bath to cease cooking. Once cold, drain again, and lay them out on a kitchen towel to dry. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and add in the radishes.
2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and sumac. Pour over the pea and radish mixture, toss to combine. Note: I like to add a little of the dressing at a time, until it's dressed to my liking. Depending on your tastes, you may not need all of the dressing.
3. Add the crumbled cheese, season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper; gently toss. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped mint and sumac, and serve.
To Make Ahead: This salad can be made up to 1 day ahead of time. Store the salad and dressing separately. Assemble the salad with dressing and cheese. Garnish right before serving.
Click here for the printable recipe.


Ruth said...

This looks fabulously fresh and summery. I would like to pair it with grilled chicken or tofu! Yum!

Rivki Locker said...

This looks fresh, bright, and delicious. I made a similar salad a few weeks ago but it used some fresh mint as well, which gave it a really bright taste.

Joanne said...

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the new BA but I'm giving it six months before I really make an opinion. That's how long I give a new boyfriend, so I figure it's only fair. :P I actually did really want to make this salad but haven't gotten around to it yet. Glad to hear it's a hit!

Michele said...

Katie, I have been checking in on your site every so often. Your pictures are beautiful! I have to try one of your great looking recipes soon.
Michele (the finicky fork)

LMBrown said...

I would love to make this if there were any sweet peas left in the garden after Penny and Ruby get finished :)

Laurie {Simply Scratch} said...

Oh I could eat the whole bowl myself!! Love this!!

Laurie {Simply Scratch} said...

Oh! And when I first read the intro I thought you said that YOU are the new editor-in-chief of BA!! I got all excited! Could happen!

Unknown said...

yum, yes please :)

katie said...

Thanks for all the nice comments everyone :)

Laurie...lol! In my dreams!

Johanna said...

Last night I made the whole spread from this article, including this snap pea and radish salad. I think it was my favorite meal of the season. Yum! Everyone especially loved this salad - so light and refreshing.

katie said...

Thanks Johanna-
Did you make the cherry hand pies for dessert too? I really want to try those!

Katie said...

Seriously..Kate, this looks amazing. I'm really into recipes that are vibrant. Also, I love snap peas! :)

Unknown said...

This looks amazing, but I don't eat cheese made from sheep's milk. Is there another cheese you could suggest that would work well for this recipe? I'd love to make it for 4th of July. Thanks.

katie said...

Hi -
This would make a great side dish for the 4th! The only possible substitute that comes to mind is Queso Blanco. I believe that's made from cow's milk and you should be able to find it easily. If all else fails, I would just skip the cheese all together, or get a suggestion from the cheese department of your local grocery. Hope you find something that works!

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