Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Watercress and Sugar Snap Pea Salad

de-stringing the snap peas

Wow, do I feel lazy!  I haven't posted in two weeks!  It's been a kitchen organizing, scheduling, and planning time, a time for focusing on what's ahead, and a time for settling back in.  Labor Day is over and my busy season is upon me.  Luckily, the produce is at it's best and we still have weeks of bright, fresh vegetables and warm weather (hopefully).

Here is one of my favorite dishes that is healthy, can be plated elegantly, and is so delicious. Serve grilled salmon or tofu on top or serve this on it's own.  The sweet shallots and nutty sesame oil mellow out the bite of the watercress and make it very palatable.  The flavors are Asian-influenced due to the sesame oil, but I think of this as an elegant New American-style dish and serve it with classic American flavors.  Enjoy!

Watercress and Sugar Snap Salad

2+2 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
¼ t sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 T rice wine vinegar
1 T Grade B maple syrup
2 T toasted sesame oil

2 c trimmed sugar snap peas
6 c trimmed watercress (without woody stems)
About 2 oz hard, aged goat cheese, preferably raw, cubed

Heat 2 T of the oil in a frying pan.  Cook shallots with sea salt and black pepper for about 20 minutes over low heat, uncovered. Stir occasionally and cook until shallots are slow-cooked, fragrant, and beginning to brown and stick to the pan.

Prep snap peas by trimming the ends and de-stringing them if the strings on the seams is tough.

Boil a pot of salted water, in a 2 qt saucepan.  Blanch sugar snap peas for about 30 seconds.  Drain and rinse with cool water.

Toss with roughly chopped watercress in a large bowl.

When shallots are caramelized, remove from heat. Add rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, sesame oil, and remaining olive oil, if needed.  Whisk together, deglazing the browned shallots.  Scrape all of that flavorful browned shallot stuff from the pan and incorporate it in the dressing.

Pour over salad while still warm and mix well until watercress begins to wilt.  Add cubed/crumbled cheese and serve.


Anonymous said...

It's about time you posted something! I was getting tired of seeing that zucchini pancake recipe.

Catherine Barker Hoffman said...

Who are you, anonymous?