Are you craving a light and fresh green salad with bites of some of the best spring garden treats nature has to offer? Try this salad! The sugar snap peas really pack a sweet little punch and the little, bright red, spicy jewels we call radishes add vibrancy and crunch. What a treat!
Peas need to be planted in the early spring when it’s still chilly outside. I love this about peas because by March or April I really need to plant something so, in go the peas!
I planted mine along the far edge of Bed A along with the lettuce and radishes. This was my bed for early spring veggies since it gets the most sun this time of year and they would all grow at about the same rate and be harvested around the same time. That freed the bed for the next succession of plantings which was all of my brassicas; three types of kale, turnips and bok choy.
My sugar snap peas did very well this year. They grew quickly while the weather was still cool and the supports I gave them allowed them to grow nice and tall for easy picking. I had vines covered with beautiful white blossoms that all turned into sweet, crunchy, refreshing peas. The pods are plump and juicy and the peas are sweet little pops of natural sugar.
Sugar snap peas aren’t very high in protein but they do contain a good amount of vitamin C, K and A. They’re best eaten straight off the bush in the garden but if you have enough self-control to pick a basket and bring them inside, they’re delightful chopped up and added to a salad in their natural, raw form. Of course, these also add a delightful freshness to stir fry and can be enjoyed as a snack in the afternoon when the 3 pm sugar craving hits.
Radishes are a favorite around here too. They grow very fast and are so beautiful when they get plucked from the soil. We do eat the radish greens but not in this particular salad. Check out my post for lentil stew with radish greens!
I made a light dressing for this salad with lemon, olive oil and honey. It was the perfect balance of sweet and sour and did a great job pulling all of the ingredients together. Give this one a try!
1 head of fresh green leaf lettuce
1 bunch of bright red radishes
1 pint of plump and sweet sugar snap peas
1 granny smith apple
1 cup of raw pecans
1 oz fresh chevre cheese, chilled
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1-2 tablespoons of honey (or maple syrup if you prefer)
Dash of salt
To make the dressing, simply add all of the ingredients to a jar with a lid and then shake it up. You can drizzle all of the dressing on the salad at once, or if you plan to eat the salad over the course of a couple of days, keep the dressing in the jar and add it to each serving.
Now, let’s make the salad. First, toast the pecans. Place them into a dry skillet and put it over medium heat. Gently shake the pan to keep the pecans moving so they don’t burn. Let the heat warm the pecans and slowly release a little of their oil. Keep shaking until they begin to toast. Be careful not to burn them. It happens fast!
Set them aside until they are cool, then using the back of a plastic bowl or measuring cup, press down on the pecans until they break into little pieces. Set them aside.
Clean the lettuce and chop it into bite-sized pieces. Place into a large salad bowl.
Clean the radishes and cut off the tops. Save them for another recipe! Slice the radishes into thin discs and toss them in the bowl on top of the lettuce.
Rinse the peas and carefully slice them down the center so they open and show off their rows of little green peas inside. Add them to the salad bowl.
Wash the apple and slice it into bite-sized pieces and add them to the salad.
Now toss in the pecans.
Remove the chilled chevre from its package and place it in a bowl. Use a fork to break up and crumble the cheese into little bits and sprinkle it on the salad.
Now, drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss it all together and serve.
I hope you enjoy this fresh, spring salad from the garden!