Confession time – I love salads. Love, love, love, love, love! They frequently appear on the meal planning menu as the main event or on the side in lieu of a starch.
Fresh, light and oh so tasty are the requirements to any great salad that makes the cut and is granted repeat appearances. With the herb garden in full swing it is easy to pull added ingredients to oomph up any creation and make it a show stopper.
If you sadly don’t have a herb garden at your disposal, you can likely find fresh mint required at your local grocery store which will work wonderfully also.
Speaking of mint, my herb garden can easily be taken over as it is spreads and is a pretty aggressive plant. It can overpower the tender basil and other herbs quickly. Overnight is seems to morph into a huge mass that extends to the outer cusps of the garden. It is like the toddler, always testing its boundaries it seems. I love mint, but it does need tending to and to be brought back in line. One way is to include it in dishes and drink recipes.
Patio weather is perfect for those mojitos, mint juleps and evenings of mint leave tea to trim back the overgrown plants. As much as I love a good mojito or julep, you can only consume so much. Really. You can only consume so much.
Plan B is to include them in food recipes and salads. It’s a really great way to do that. It adds a soothingly cool, crisp, and refreshing taste. It is a wonderful palette cleanser and helps the other flavours in the salad shine through. Since it is very aromatic it is often the first ingredient you can identify. As they say “You eat with your nose first”, which is very much true. The sense of smell is so key to the overall enjoyment of any culinary creation.
I love this combination as it is unexpected. It appeals to a variety of tastes and is such a crowd pleaser. Since it is easy to make it is perfect for those last minute pot luck barbecue invites. You know the ones that you are rushing to get ready and head over for and you haven’t even showered yet as you were busy lounging in the backyard sun all day. Tell me I am not alone in this. Fashionably late is still a thing, right?
The dressing can be pre-made and in your fridge ready to use so that saves a step to combat this problem of the barbecue starting in 30 minutes and you haven’t even showered. (My hubby will purposely tell me the event starts 30 to an hour earlier just so we get there on time, but not always).
There are a few things you can take away from this post:
1) Bring this as your stellar salad to that last minute barbecue
2) Make the dressing ahead of time in anticipation of such barbecue
3) Have a partner or friend that will lie to you about the start time so are not rushed to get ready
4) Show up relaxed, showered and fabulously dressed with an awesome salad that everyone is wondering – how did you pull it off with only 2 hours notice?
Happy salad season!
Mint Snap Pea Salad
Be barbecue ready with this fresh mint and snap pea salad.
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 6 cups fresh snap peas
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp whole grain Dijon mustard
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- With a knife cut the snap peas on the diagonal into bit sized pieces and place in serving bowl. Top the prepared snap peas with the chopped mint leaves.
- For the Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing!
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together the sugar, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, grated ginger and poppy seeds until combined together. While whisking constantly, stream in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified and combined together.
- Lightly dress the salad to your likely with the dressing just before serving. Reserve and store any remaining dressing in an airtight container in your refrigerator.