Minted Pea and Radish Salad

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Photo Ben Gebo Photography

Ben Gebo Photography

STRATEGY SESSION: As you know, my goals are always to keep fat and calories low and flavor high. To achieve the former, I make the dressing with only 1 tablespoon of added fat, but- in pursuit of the latter-I use toasted sesame oil. The bite of the radishes nicely counters the sweetness of the pea pods, and fresh mint adds a refreshing brightness. The high glycemic index of the sugar is offset by the low GI of the vegetables, so the total glycemic load is moderated.

After months of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and turnips, the produce department is suddenly full of sweet young things. It’s true that  the ingredients for this salad are available year-round, but their quality rises with temperature.  The pea pods I bought last week were almost as tasty as the ones my son and I used to eat right off the vine when he was a tot. (There’s no better way to get a child to eat vegetables!) The garden is history, but the recipes survived, and this one is spring in a bowl.

Serving Suggestions: I serve this salad with grilled lamb chops or a grilled butterflied leg of lamb.

Minted Pea and Radish Salad

  • 2½ cups snow peas (12 ounces)
  • 2½ cups sugar snap peas (12 ounces)
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red radishes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  1. Blanch the snow peas and sugar snap peas in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes, transfer them to an ice water bath, and drain in a colander.  For thorough drying, lay them out in a single layer on a kitchen towel covered with a layer of paper towels. Place another paper towel on top, and cover with another dish towel.  Roll up the whole apparatus and then squeeze gently along the roll.  Combine the pea pods and radish slices in a large bowl.
  2. To make the dressing, combine the soy sauce, oil, vinegar, and sugar in a small bowl or measuring cup.  Whisk to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with the mint.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Makes 6 servings

Per serving: 82 calories , 3 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 11 g total carbohydrate, 3 g dietary fiber, 4 g protein, 180 mg sodium.

Comments&Trackbacks

  • May 10 2010, 7:02 AM
    [email protected]

    Another healthy dish. I made your salmon last week with great success… can’t wait to try this. I never think of radishes with an oriental twist… but then it is a cousin of daikon, isn’t it?

  • May 10 2010, 7:57 AM
    Deborah

    Hi, Deana. Yes-all radishes are related! I could have used daikon here, but it wouldn’t have added those little flecks of red. Actually, this salad tastes great with almost any vinaigrette, but I’ve gotten kind of stuck on this one. There’s something about those crisp peas and crunchy radishes that makes me reach for the sesame oil and soy sauce…

  • May 10 2010, 7:58 AM
    Deborah

    P.S. I’m very glad you enjoyed the salmon. Thanks for letting me know.

  • May 10 2010, 3:26 PM
    Maria

    I love this simple salad!

  • May 11 2010, 1:10 AM
    M.

    I just got some sugar snap peas, so I’m thinking about trying this recipe.

  • May 11 2010, 6:59 AM
    Deborah

    Great. I’d recommend that you do the blanching immediately to preserve the sweetness of the peas and then you can decide what you want to do with them. They’ll keep for a couple of days in the fridge once they’re cooked, but- if you leave them raw- their sugar will turn to starch and they won’t taste as good. Deborah

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