Monday, June 18, 2007

S is for Sugar Snap Peas-Eating Locally

I meant to post about this yesterday, but the day got away from me very quickly. Saturday we had a long day, and is it crept closer to dinner time, Andy suggested that we go out for dinner. And while I was tempted for a brief minute, the fact was that I had fresh farmer's market produce, and I wanted to use it freshly plucked from the ground. So I pulled a flank steak from our local butcher, Maplewood Meats, and got to work. The steak received a simple rub of Penzey's Old World seasoning. I happen to consider Penzey's local as well, as its home is here in Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and since that's less than 200 miles away, I consider it local. The steak went on the grill along with the new potatoes. The potatoes and a few of the spring onions were tossed in a foil packet with some fresh rosemary from my garden, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

I also wanted to do something with half of the sugar snap peas. At first I had been thinking a stir fry with my oyster mushrooms, but I decided that since the kids were gobbling up the peas, a salad was more in order. I wanted to sweeten up the peas a little bit more, as I thought in their completely raw state they were slightly starchy. So I got out my steamer and steamed the peas for about 4 minutes, and then ran cold water over them to shock them. This worked perfectly, it brought out the sweetness and eliminated the starch, while still retaining the crunch of the raw snap peas. I tossed the barely cooked peas with a chopped yellow tomato, and the large cherry tomatoes. I drizzled these with a raspberry-walnut vinaigrette that the kids have been fond of lately, and everyone enjoyed it. The salad was perfect, the snap peas and the tomatoes played off each other perfectly with the vinaigrette. Both kids enjoyed the Sugar Snap Peas, and since I still have half of them, tonight I am going to get to that stir-fry and see how they like them cooked. Next year I guess I'll have to plant some peas as well.
It felt really good to eat locally, and to know that everything on the table was fresh and at its peak. There will be much more to come from the local farmer's markets, and I'm contemplating a drive out to our favorite produce stand to see if they have anything out there yet. We may get to that later today yet, if not... it will be later this week.


Claire said...

I had sugar snap peas at a lunch at the hospital last week and decided that I need to make some at home. This looks like something I should try!

Erika said...

Claire, I've always enjoyed sugar snaps raw, but then went on and overcooked them. Overcooked they get tough and slimy. Steaming them for just a few minutes was perfect- blanching would likely work too, as long as it was fairly quick.

Alanna said...

What a pretty salad! And I love that Penzeys can be 'local' for someone!! Great post, Erika!