Summer is finally here with an abundance of stunning new season vegetables and all I want to do is sink my teeth into salads. I love green salads, and I love salads with crunch. The combination of sugar snap peas and ever-so-slightly-blanched green beans and peas make a killer combination.
This is the perfect salad if you are feeding a crowd. It can be made in advance and doesn’t wilt. After cooking the vegetables for the shortest time and shocking them in cold water, you can store them in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Simply toss the red onion and vinaigrette dressing through, and add lashings of shaved Parmesan cheese.
The only thing to make sure of when making salads with cooked vegetables is to ensure you don’t overcook them. I tend to lean on undercooking them slightly so they are really al dente. Just check along the way, but I find 3 – 5 minutes fine.
For the vinaigrette I love this basic dressing – so creamy and delicious: Crush 1 clove of garlic, with 1 teaspoon (big) Dijon mustard, then in a ratio of 2:1 – olive oil to red wine vinegar. A pinch of Maldon salt and a twist of black pepper. Shake and enjoy.
Fresh pea shoots would make the ultimate additional garnish for this salad, but sadly I can never seem to find them exactly at the time I need them.
- 140g sugar snap peas
- 140g green beans, trimmed
- 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
- 1 small red onion, very finely diced
- 80 - 100g Parmesan cheese, freshly shaved
- vinaigrette dressing
- Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the sugar snap peas and beans for about 3 minutes. Add the frozen peas and cook for a further minute or two. If you are using fresh peas, they will take a minute or two longer too cook, so add them about 2 minutes after the beans.
- Drain and run the vegetables under cold water until they are completely cooled (you can add a few ice cubes to help cool them down quickly)
- Toss with the vinaigrette and red onion, check the seasoing and if necessary add salt and pepper, and serve with Parmesan shaved over the top.
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