When peas are fresh, crisp and in season, there's no sense in cooking them to death or masking their delicate green flavor, so keep it simple with a recipe like Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon-Mint Gremolata. There are many variations on this recipe, but this one was perfect for me because it put to use the mint that's quickly taking over my fire escape, despite my best attempts at keeping up with it via oranges sprinkled with mint, and with mojitos. The recipe is adapted from afore-worshipped Lemon Zest by Lori Longbotham. Lori taught me a very important lesson about lemons that has benefitted my cooking since I read the book: we use lemons all the time (or at least I do!), whether squeezed over grilled fish, to spritz steamed veggies, to flavor desserts, or just to freshen the scent of the fridge. From now on, every time you are going to use a lemon for its juice, take a minute first to grate the zest and freeze it in a ziploc bag or airtight container. Lemon zest, I've found, is good in everything from pasta sauces to muffins to stir-fry to a twist in your esspresso. I use my frozen zest almost every day! (Note: most lemons are waxed to preserve them better during shipping. If your lemons are waxed, be to scrub them with a vegetable brush - or a toothbrush! - before zesting.)
Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon-Mint Gremolata
1 pound sugar snap peas
1 tablespoon lemon-infused olive oil, or regular extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely shredded mint leaves
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Blanch the peas in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse under cold running water and drain again.
Heat oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large pan (or wok, if you are so blessed - but not if your wok is exclusively seasoned for Asian cooking, which rarely includes olive oil) over medium heat. Add peas and cook, stirring, unti lheated through, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in zest and mint and serve hot.