Snap Pea Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
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If you’ve been reading Alexandra’s Kitchen for awhile, you know, for me, this — right now — is the most wonderful time of the year …
… It’s CSA season!
We’re actually three weeks in at this point and have, as usual, been enjoying lots of greens, spring onions, turnips, radishes, and herbs.
This week, too, the crunchiest, sweetest snap peas arrived, and I immediately thought of this Bon Appetit snap pea salad, which I made last year, but never got around to sharing here.
Now’s the time to make it. What’s most interesting to me about this salad is its assembly: You toss slivered snap peas with lemon zest, salt, and olive oil, but no acid. All of the acid comes from the dressing, a mix of buttermilk, yogurt, fresh lemon juice, and garlic. You don’t ever toss the dressing with the snap peas, rather you heap the snap peas atop the dressing. As you serve, the dressing and peas unite.
It’s unconventional but it works, and there’s something about the crisp snap peas with the cool, tangy dressing that just tastes so good. It’s especially delicious aside grilled bread … something to think about if you’re breaking out the grill next week.
Wanting to put to use the summer squash, spring onions, and basil from this week’s CSA, I added those to the mix. The verdict: delicious, but the snap peas are essential because they remain crisp and provide that necessary texture. The summer squash, once salted, begins relaxing, and while I wouldn’t hesitate to make the salad again with each of these elements, it’s truly special with the snap peas.
In sum: use what you have on hand, but if you don’t have anything, buy snap peas.
CSA Season is Here | Let’s Review
- Always snip greens from roots: radishes, turnips, kohlrabi, carrots, beets, etc. Store the greens and roots in the fridge. I keep all of the greens in one bag and the roots in another bag — just my preference.
- Always snip off rubber bands from anything they are binding — herbs, asparagus, radishes, etc.
- Herbs: Store basil out of the fridge in a glass with the stems dipped into a little bit of water. Trim the stems every other day and change the water. Parsley and cilantro keep well in the fridge.
- A few helpful pages:
Not pictured: the mandoline! I DID NOT slice this zucchini with that knife. Used my favorite Benriner Mandoline.
Adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe.
For video guidance, see this Instagram Story: Snap Pea Salad.
You can use other vegetables in addition to the snap peas in this salad. I’ve had success with summer squash and spring onions. That said, the snap peas are essential because they retain their crispness, and their crunchy texture is essential.
8 oz. sugar snap peas, strings removed, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
A large pinch of kosher salt
- Place sugar snap peas in a large bowl. Dress with the 2 tablespoons oil, the zest of the lemon, a pinch of sea salt, and pepper. Toss lightly and set aside.
- Juice the lemon — you should have about 3 tablespoons. In a large serving bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, yogurt, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic, and a large pinch of kosher salt. Taste. Adjust with more salt if necessary.
- Taste the snap peas. You’re tasting for salt here as there is no acid — they should taste nicely seasoned.
- Pile the sugar snap peas on top of the dressing. Season with more pepper to taste. Serve, being sure to scoop some of the buttermilk dressing onto a plate as you serve.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Toss
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: snap peas, buttermilk, summer, yogurt, lemon