From New Orleans chef John Besh, this crisp salad can be a light side dish for a party, or just a really good way to get kids to eat their vegetables. To prep the dish ahead of time, Besh suggests slicing the peas in advance, then blanching them at the last minute.
For the salad:
1/2 cup pecan halves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sugar snap peas, ends snapped and strings removed, thinly sliced on the bias
For the vinaigrette:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Leaves from 1 sprig
Fresh basil, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a small bowl, drizzle the pecans with the olive oil and salt and toss to coat well. Scatter the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Cool and reserve.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Just before you’re ready to serve, add the peas and cook for just 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer the peas to a big bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and hold their color. Drain and place in a serving bowl.
3. For the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and basil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the peas and toss to coat. Sprinkle the toasted pecans over the top.