One of the best things about spring’s arrival for me is I start to see some of my favorite, delicious, fresh produce at the farmers market and grocery store. It gets me excited to think of new ways to prepare and serve these delicious morsels, especially since it always seems too brief that some of these make their appearance. I love the asparagus and artichokes, tender baby lettuces and rhubarb, but my favorites are the sugar snap peas.
I’ve always been a fan of peas. I can remember when I was little, helping my grandmother shell peas she picked from her garden. Those raw peas, fresh from the garden, were delicious. I am not sure if more of the peas ended up in her bowl or in my mouth. From then on, there was a special place in my heart for raw peas. While I don’t get many occasions these days to eat raw peas, my favorite way to eat sugar snap peas is still raw. They maintain their crispness and sweet flavor, and they are perfect with a dip. One of my favorites to serve with sugar snap peas, or really any vegetables for a crudites platter, is green goddess dip.
Green goddess dip or dressing is a simple recipe to make with fresh herbs, and it’s quick to whip up. The recipe I use is from an old version of the Joy of Cooking cookbook. Start by chopping chives and parsley so that you have 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives (minced scallions can be used instead if you can’t find the chives) and 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley. Add them to a bowl with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1/2 cup sour cream. Add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, and 3 anchovy fillets, minced. I know the anchovies may scare some people, but they really just add a salty note to the dip. It doesn’t taste fishy at all, however, if you’re concerned about the anchovies, don’t add them. The dip will still be good. Mix everything together and season with salt and pepper to taste.
That’s really it. Once everything is mixed, your dip or dressing is ready to use, although I think the flavors come together after it sits in the refrigerator for a few hours. As I mentioned, I use it as a dip for sugar snap peas. I just washed 1 1/2 lbs sugar snap peas and snipped off any hard stems. If you prefer them cooked, you can certainly blanch them in boiling water for just a minute, then drain and add them to a bowl with cold water and ice. This will stop the cooking process but still keep them pretty crisp.
Feel free to substitute any other vegetables you prefer for the sugar snap peas. But they do make a nice vegetable platter, especially in the spring when everything seems so fresh and new again.