Snow peas are abundant in the springtime garden. A family favorite, they are easy to grow from seed, and they are one of the earliest crops to make their appearance. Quickly clambering up and smothering our 8 foot tall tomato cages , their delicate white flowers glow amongst verdant leaves and curly tendrils. At Cowlick Cottage, the most dangerous predator to the snow peas is Lucy Liu, our Labradoodle. She owns the bottom two feet of the snow pea vines, and she patrols her area carefully each day, searching for the fresh pods and delicately plucking them from the vine. We travel up and down the row together, plucking and munching in unison. Once they really get going, we harvest the snow peas almost daily, and it is not unusual to pick a half pound or more each day for several weeks.
Snow peas are the perfect gardening snack. A quick rinse is really all they need, and I confess that I often skip that step. But they are even better if you crisp them up in ice water for a few minutes. Cooking them is almost as easy… a quick trip to the wok or the frying pan with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt is all they require. Tonight I’m going to dress them up a little bit, with a splash of Meyer lemon juice and some fresh mint from the garden. Peas and mint are a classic spring combination, and the tang of the lemon juice accents the sweetness of the snow peas and the mint.
Minted Snow Peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound fresh snow peas
1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat. Add the snow peas and saute for about 3 minutes until crisp-tender. Add the lime juice and saute, until the lemon juice is evaporated. Season to taste, with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint.