Radish and sugar snap pea salad

The recipe I tried this week is a part of my continual quest for interesting, tasty vegetable dishes. I tend to think of vegetables only as an afterthought to the main dish when planning dinner menus but I am trying to change that by finding recipes that use vegetables in new, exciting ways. I was aided in my vegetable recipe quest by a Williams Sonoma Cookbook, New Flavors for Vegetables. The pictures in this book are so beautiful and appealing and every recipe I have tried has turned out perfectly. I really dislike overcooked vegetables or vegetable dishes that have an overpowering sauce on them, but the recipes in this book are more about using simple ingredients to enhance the natural flavor of the vegetables and the results are amazing! Some of the recipes use vegetables that I have never tried before (celery root!) but now I use them on a regular basis. Anyway, all of that is just the prelude to the delicious salad that I made yesterday, inspired by one of the recipes in this cookbook. It was beautiful, flavorful and easy, what more could you want? I have always liked radishes but I don’t often think to use them. This salad is a perfect Spring side dish and would be a great accompaniment to grilled chicken or salmon.

Radish and Sugar Snap Pea Salad
Serves 6

1/2 pound sugar snap peas
5 radishes
1 1/2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Fill a medium saucepan 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil. Fill a large mixing bowl with ice water. Add the peas to the boiling water and simmer them for 2 minutes, or until they are bright green. Drain the peas and immediately place them in the bowl of ice water. Let them rest in the ice water for a couple of minutes and then drain.

2. Cut each pea pod in half with a diagonal cut and place in a medium bowl. Thinly slice the radishes and then cut the slices into thin strips. Place the radishes in the bowl with the peas.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and honey, add a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Add the oil in a thin, continuous stream to the vinegar and honey, whisking as you pour.

4. Add enough of the dressing to the peas and radishes so that the vegetables are just coated; toss until they are well mixed. Sprinkle the parsley on top and toss once more. Serve soon after mixing so that the vegetables stay crisp.

I will be back to doing some comparison posts next week, starting with baked beans, just in time for the beginning of grilling season. In the meantime, does anyone have some other favorite, healthy vegetable recipes? I could really use some other ideas!