Fortunately for us, the combination of heat and rain has created a prolific crop of sugar snap peas in the garden. The vines are covered with dozens of bright green pods, plump with sweet, round peas and the delicate white blossoms mean that more peas are on the way!
A sugar snap pea is meant to be eaten, pod and all, although most folks prefer to have the string of the pod removed before devouring. This particular variety, Sugar Ann, is the earliest snap pea, maturing in 54 days. Although Johnny’s Selected Seeds says that they don’t need to be trellised, I find pea pods easier to pick (and easier to see) if the vines are allowed to climb.
My favorite way to enjoy sugar snap peas is to eat them raw, that’s when the nice, sweet flavor really shines, and the crisp texture really snaps. When there is a bounty of peas, sugar snap peas are a delicious addition to any salad. New potato salad with snap peas is a particular favorite.
For a salad that is easy to pack for a picnic, try snap peas and chopped red radishes or sliced cherry tomatoes tossed with a dressing of olive oil, seasoned vinegar like raspberry or ginger-honey, and minced fresh herbs. For a colorful presentation, top the salad with crumbled local goat cheese and edible flowers like pansies or nasturtiums.
Sugar snap peas lightly steamed or stir-fried are delicious with fresh mint butter. Add some nuts for an even richer flavor. And then, for the pickle lover in your house, try making Pickled Sugar Snap Peas.
This is a refrigerator pickle recipe, not one you preserve for the pantry shelf. It satisfies the sour and salty urge with a nice, bright, green crisp bite. I’ve heard that Pickled Sugar Snap Peas are tastiest when they have marinated for 2 weeks. If anyone ever waits that long to eat them, would they please let me know?!
PICKLED SUGAR SNAP PEAS
- 1 pound sugar snap peas
- 1¼ cup white vinegar
- 1¼ cup cold water
- 4 garlic cloves sliced
- 1- tablespoon Sea salt
- 1- tablespoon sugar
- Dash of hot pepper flakes optional
- Remove the strings from the sugar snap peas and wash them. Pack into a one-quart mason jar with the sliced garlic and set aside.
- In a small, nonreactive, saucepan, heat the vinegar. Add the sea salt and sugar and stir to dissolve. Remove from heat, add the cold water, and cool to room temperature. Pour the mixture over the jar of sugar snap peas. Add a dash of hot pepper flakes, if desired.
- Cap the jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. It will take about 2 weeks until completely pickled, but they are quite tasty after 24 hours!