june 28, 2013
How fortuitous that the seasons for sweet corn and sugar snap peas overlap. Sweet beginning for fresh corn, and melancholy ending for the short-lived fresh sugar snap pea, which is worlds apart from the sorry, limp frozen variety available year round at your grocery store.
Both have an unmistakable snap and sweetness absent from their frozen counterparts, so enjoy them while they are in season, abundantly, so that you can pine for them when they are gone.
I have been the happy recipient of sugar snap peas grown by my brother on the banks of the Piankatank River here in Virginia, so I am spoiled by the taste of peas fresh from the field. Although my dear brother encourages me to cook them briefly, I cannot bring myself to alter their “snap!”, and so I generally eat them raw. Yep, no sauce, no seasoning, simply unadorned.
I have thrown them into any salad, and even shared some with clients of The Good Eats Company for their tray of crudités with homemade vegetable spread, but I jealously hoard them because I am all too aware of their evanescent nature.
For today’s grilled corn salad, the peas are diced and left uncooked for maximal crunch. Ears of corn are charred on the grill just until they acquire a smokiness and crisp-tenderness, then sheared with a serrated knife to remove the browned kernels.
The parsley garlic vinaigrette offers a tangy counterpoint to all that sweetness. This is a good keeper, but as refrigeration will often soften the acidic tang of vinegar, you may need to add a splash or two if you plan to make ahead.
This salad was served alongside grilled steak with fruity salsa and crisp watermelon wedges at an outdoor concert of big band music last weekend. As a gentle summer breeze wafted through the amphitheater and fireflies dotted the sky at dusk, we welcomed summer with a perfect early summer meal. So long, sugar snap peas, and howdy to fresh corn, our friend all summer long.
grilled corn and sugar snap pea salad
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
4 ears fresh corn, cleaned
fine sea salt
1 generous cup diced sugar snap peas
one medium large clove garlic, grated
1 T smooth Dijon mustard
2 1/2 T red wine vinegar
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T finely minced fresh parsley
finely ground white pepper
- Heat gas grill to high.
- Brush ears of corn lightly with vegetable oil, season lightly with salt, then grill covered about 10 minutes or until nicely charred and slightly tender, turning every few minutes.
- When cooled to room temperature, remove kernels with sharp knife and add to sugar snap peas in large mixing bowl.
- In separate bowl, with moist towel underneath to avoid slippage, make vinaigrette : whisk together garlic, mustard, parsley and red wine vinegar with two pinches of sea salt and one pinch of white pepper; whisk in olive oil until well combined.
- Pour vinaigrette over corn and peas, mixing well.
- Let salad chill at least one hour in refrigerator to develop flavor, then adjust seasoning with additional salt, pepper or vinegar if needed.