I don't know about you, but I anticipate the arrival of fresh garden peas, as well as sugar snap and snow peas, almost as much as I do asparagus. The pea harvest begins late in the season, around the same time that the first of the radishes pop their little heads out of the soil. This is an easy-to-make salad that joyously shouts out simplicity and freshness. Feel free to alter the type of acid, herbs and cheese used; give it a try with apple cider vinegar or sherry vinegar, fresh tarragon, and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Makes 6 servings
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more if needed
1 tsp liquid honey
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves or dill
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 lbs fresh peas in their pods (about 4 cups freshly shelled or frozen peas)
4 large radishes, halved and thinly sliced
3/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata or feta cheese (optional)
In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the cumin and coriander until fragrant, about one minute. Transfer to a small bowl; let cool. Whisk in the lime juice and honey. Slowly whisk in the oil. Stir in the mint. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
In a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook the peas until barely tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the peas into a colander. Plunge the peas into a bowl of ice-cold water; drain well.
In a large bowl, toss together the peas and the radishes. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Stir in the cheese (if using). Taste and adjust the salt, pepper and lime juice as needed.