It’s Too Hot To Cook: Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Cumin, Lemon & Mint

IMG_3301This is a perennial favorite at out place for several reasons, it’s delicious, seasonal and really easy to make.

Sugar Snap Peas have about a month-long season here in NYC several farmers at the local markets sell them.  When I first discovered them (I don’t ever remember seeing them in Canada) I would par boil them with mix results.  If just a brief 30 seconds in hot water takes the glorious snap away from these peas.  It didn’t take me long to realize there was no need to cook these wonderfully crunchy sugar snap peas, I could save the time, the heat and the water and just eat ’em raw.IMG_3265This is kind of non recipe, recipe.  Which is to say that every time I make it I adjust the vinaigrette to my whim.  I love assertive flavors and the combination of lemon and cumin are two of my favorites.  In this recipe I suggest using both ground roasted cumin seeds and cumin powder they both have their own flavor profiles and by adding both you get a more intense and complex cumin flavor.  If you only have powdered cumin not to worry it’ll still taste great.

Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon Cumin Mint 

Prepare the peas by removing the top stem and pulling out the string that comes along with it.

Place in a cullender and rinse thoroughly in cold water, set aside to dry.

In a cast iron skillet place 1 Tablespoon of Cumin Seeds over medium high heat. Shake the pan a few times over a minute of two.  When the seeds become fragrant and brown slightly remove them from the heat.  Grind in a mortar and pestle until the seeds are broken down but not a fine powder.

In a small bowl whisk together:  1/2 cup fine Olive Oil and 1/4 cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice. Add 1 teaspoon of Cumin Powder, the ground Cumin whisk to incorporate then stir in 1/2 cup of roughly chopped fresh Mint.

Generously season the vinaigrette with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the prepared Sugar Snap Peas in a medium serving bowl, toss with the vinaigrette, taste and adjust seasoning and place in the fridge for an hour.

Just before serving toss another 1/2 cup fresh Mint over the salad.

Make the most of these wonderfully sweet, crunchy peas (which I should mention don’t need de-shelling you eat them whole) while they are at the market.


About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note:
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