I’ve touched on some winter vegetable preparations over the past couple of months–butternut squash as the star of a classic soup; the under appreciated rutabaga in casserole form; and of course, my beloved Brussels sprouts roasted several ways. I promise I will come back to these workhorses of the cold months but this past week I had a hankering for a pickle. I was craving that fresh taste accompanied by a crisp mouth-feel and of course, the tell-tale “snap!”
This urge led me to the absolutely beautiful cookbook, Bountiful which was given to me for Christmas (my favorite Christmas gifts are cookbooks–wink, wink) and I have already read it cover to cover three times. The recipes are primarily vegetarian, fresh and unique. My book club friends will be treated to an assortment of them at our annual “My Favorite Things” get-together this week. There are just so many dishes that I want to try that I need to experiment en masse. This is your cue, dear reader, that Bountiful will be credited many times in upcoming posts.
But it was a pickle that I was craving so I dove in with “Quick Pickled Sugar Snap Peas with Mint.” I agree with Diane Cu, who authored Bountiful along with her husband Todd Porter, when she claims impatience in waiting for a batch of fresh pickles to be ready. I’m not a canner or even a baker, for that matter, and I cook for immediate gratification. So a two-hour wait for pickling satisfaction, as opposed to weeks, seemed do-able. With a vague recollection of the recipe’s ingredients, I picked up some sugar snap peas and a bunch of radishes on my way home this past Friday. Turns out that radishes weren’t in the recipe, although they turned out to be a great addition, and I had forgotten the required mint. Not one to run back out once I am happily home nor one to put a recipe on hold, I substituted parsley for mint and it worked out well. When I make the peas again this week, I will once again add the radishes and give it a try with mint, which I am sure will only add to the refreshing taste.
So take a short break from your oven and find yourself in a pickle. These snap peas make a great side dish, would be delicious layered into a sandwich, are perfect as an afternoon snack or even at home as a happy hour hors d’oeuvre which is where my friends gobbled them up–and helped me stage the photo below. Thanks, ladies. Here’s your recipe…
- 1 pound sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced thin
- 2-4 radishes, sliced into thin rounds
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or mint
- 2/3 cup distilled white vinegar
- zest and juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 Tbls sugar
- 1 Tbls kosher salt
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- In a 2-qt jar, layer the peas, onion, radishes and mint or parsley. Make the pickling brine: In a large measuring cup, combine 1 cup of water with all of the brine ingredients. Pour the brine into the container with the peas, covering them completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before eating.
- Two days later, the snap peas taste delicious but have lost their bright green color. We will enjoy them alongside tonight's dinner but I would only serve them to guests while their color was still intact.