Sugar snap peas are a sure sign of spring, according to private chef Ella Freyinger. She waits all year to start incorporating these high-fiber snacks into her dishes. But when working with something so sweet, she likes to offset their natural flavor in various ways. This week at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, Laura Avery spoke with Freyinger about working with fresh sugar snap peas.
For this recipe, Freyinger counters the saccharine-forward flavor of the peas on the grill. She says that “by charring the peas on just one side, you get a subtle nuance of smoky flavor.” But the dish isn’t quite complete without her mild salsa. “By adding the green garlic salsa verde,” she says, “you get a real punch from fresh herbs, a little acid to brighten everything up.”
This recipe is a staple in her household and might become an essential dish for your spring table.
1.5 lbs sugar snap peas, trimmed and stringed
½ cup greek yogurt
¼ cup + 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 bunch pea tendrils
Ingredients for salsa verde
1 bunch green garlic
1 cup parsley leaves
½ cup basil leaves
½ cup cilantro leaves
5 cloves roasted garlic
1/8 tsp chile flakes
Preheat grill to a high heat.
Prepare the salsa verde: Place the green garlic on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until the outside is charred and the bulb is tender. Roughly chop the green garlic, parsley, basil and cilantro and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to break down the herbs. Add the olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, roasted garlic and chili flakes. Pulse a few more times, the mixture will still be chunky.
Char the snap peas: Toss the snap peas with 1 tbsp olive oil and sea salt. Set a wire rack on grill grate and place peas on the rack. Resist the temptation to toss and grill on one side for approximately 3 minutes; return to bowl. Toss with half of the salsa verde and reserve the remainder for another use.
Prepare yogurt: Season the greek yogurt with a pinch of sea salt, black pepper, and 2 tbsp olive oil and spread onto a serving platter. Top with the snap peas, pea tendrils and a drizzle of olive oil.