Fresh peas and mint are natural partners and are often paired in hot side dishes and soups. This version of the classic combination, featuring spring's sugar snap peas rather than the more traditional garden peas, appeals to the season's celebration of fresh, light flavors. Thin strips of prosciutto can be added for a more robust taste. Serve this versatile salad to open a meal or to accompany a main course of grilled lamb.
Have ready a bowl of ice water. Bring a large saucepan three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snap peas and simmer until bright green and almost tender, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain immediately and transfer to the ice water to halt the cooking. Let stand for 5 minutes, then drain and set aside.
To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, shallot, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, place the sugar snap peas and thin strips of mint in a bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Toss to coat the ingredients evenly. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with mint sprigs. Serve immediately, arranging the salad attractively on each plate, if desired.
Spring: Recipes Inspired by Nature's Bounty
by Joanne Weir
50 four-color photographs by Penina
Time-Life Books; March 1997
Reprinted by permission.
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