Snow peas, or, as the French call them, mange-touts (owing to the fact that you can eat the whole package, pods included), are at their sweetest, tenderest best in late spring and early summer. Look for the bright-green legumes, with their undulating rows of pea bumps barely detectable through translucent skin, at Greenmarket’s Cherry Lane Farm stand. As Chinese-food aficionados can attest, they’re terrific lightly cooked in a quick stir-fry, but they’re equally delicious in this Italian-inspired salad concocted by NoMad chef-partner Daniel Humm.
Daniel Humm’s Snow-Pea Salad
For the lemon vinaigrette:
3/4 cup lemon oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
For the salad:
1 lb. snow peas
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white onion, finely diced
1/4 cup pancetta, finely diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup packed mint leaves, washed
Pecorino, to shave over the snow peas
For the lemon vinaigrette: In a bowl, whisk together the lemon oil and lemon juice and season with salt. Reserve. For the snow-pea salad: (1) Trim the ends of the snow peas, and remove the strings. (2) Slice the snow peas lengthwise into a fine julienne. (3) Soak in ice water to crisp for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sweat until very soft (about 10 minutes), then add the pancetta and cook until the fat starts to render. Drain the snow peas, and dry completely on paper towels. Place the snow peas in a large bowl along with the onion and pancetta, and dress with enough lemon vinaigrette to just coat the snow peas. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and finish with the mint leaves and shaved Pecorino. Serves 4.