Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Mint, Almonds, and Caramelized Onions

| April 15, 2011 | 4 Comments
  • 4 Comments

Sugar Snap Pea Salad
Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Spring Fever has officially hit. Mulch is in the air, mini-skirts are on the streets, and farmers’ markets are in full bloom.

I couldn’t resist these brilliant green sugar snap peas the other day. Sweet, crunchy, and juicy, I’ve even been chomping on them raw. Grassy and tender, they taste like pure Spring.

Sugar Snap Peas
Sugar Snap Peas

Snap peas are a cross between snow peas and garden peas. Like the snow pea, the pods are edible; like the garden pea, the pods are round rather than flat. When sugar snap peas are young and in-season like they are now, you don’t even need to “de-string” them (removing that pesky fibrous strand that runs lengthwise from tip to tip), making them perfect for an easy, light salad.

Snap Pea Prep
Snap Pea Prep

I blanched the snap peas first for a few minutes before shocking them in an ice bath. This made them tender but still delightfully crunchy. For texture, I shelled half of them, popping out the little round peas, and then julienned the empty pods into matchsticks. The remaining half of the snap peas I left whole, although, you could certainly continue slicing up the whole bunch.

Sugar Snap Peas
Select the plumper/rounder snap peas to shell, they have larger peas inside.

To the sugar snap peas, I added a handful of refreshing mint, toasted almonds, and sweet caramelized onions. The dish is finished off with a simple, brightly acidic vinaigrette of lemon, rice vinegar, and olive oil.

onion
Onion to be caramelized

This vibrant, fresh green salad is an interesting alternative to your normal leafy salad. It would also make a great substitution for coleslaw given all the crunchy textures.

Recipe: Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Mint, Almonds, and Caramelized Onions

Summary: A perfect spring salad of tender sugar snap peas, refreshing mint, toasted almonds, and caramelized onions.

By Stephanie Hua

Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 25 min
Total time: 30 min
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves (about 1/4 cup chopped)
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the onion into half moon slivers. Allow to caramelize over medium-high heat in an oiled sautee pan (about 25 minutes).
  3. Wash the sugar snap peas and de-string them if necessary, snapping the tip and removing the fibrous strand running lengthwise. If the snap peas are young though, you won’t have to do this. Drop the sugar snap peas into the pot of boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes, then strain out and drop them into an ice bath.
  4. Once the snap peas are cooled, strain them out and place half of them in a large bowl. Shell the other half, adding the peas to the bowl. Julienne the remaining pod shells lengthwise and add to the bowl.
  5. Roughly chop the mint leaves. Toast and roughly chop the almonds. Add mint, almonds, and caramelized onions to the bowl.
  6. Mix together the rice vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and drizzle over the salad. Toss well, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
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Category: Bay Area Bites Food + Drink, recipes, vegetarian and vegan

About the Author ()

Stephanie Hua is the creator of Lick My Spoon, a place for all things delicious. So far she has learned that she very much enjoys salted caramel anything, a good soup dumpling is worth a scalded tongue, and there is no room in life for non-fat cheese and crappy chocolate. Also, a barrel of cheese balls never ends well. Stephanie has been known to choose her company based on how much they can pack it down. Ability to endure cramped quarters, sketchy back alleys, and uncharted paths to seek out that special dish is also a plus in her book. If you fit the criteria, drop a note. You’ll probably get along just fine. Stephanie's writing and photography have been featured in Fodor's Travel, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Serious Eats, and Sundance Channel. Follow her on Facebook and @lickmyspoon.
  • http://basic-meatloaf-recipe.blogspot.com Meatloaf Recipe

    Thanks a lot for this sugar snap pea salad recipe. Wonderful presentation with pea salad recipe pics. Thanks a lot for share.

  • http://lickmyspoon.com Stephanie

    Thanks! Hope you enjoy it!

  • Monica

    Sounds lovely. If made ahead of time will the peas turn off-color?

  • http://lickmyspoon.com Stephanie

    @Monica: To be honest, I’m not sure. Do peas tend to turn color? If so, I would think that the acid from the lemon juice would help counter that. I made the dish a few hours ahead of time and the color was ok.