Our farm stands are brimming with incredible fruits and vegetables these days and that makes me a very happy person. I swear I could be a vegetarian if I had to be, especially living where I do in the middle of such great farm land. Within a five mile radius of our home, we have at least four farm stands and one weekly farmers market. I love going to these almost daily just to see what else has come in to season.
Sadly, asparagus has past this season but it's been replaced in one stand with the sweetest snap peas. The box I bought almost didn't make it home because I couldn't stop munching on them, but alas I knew I should share with my husband. Now raw vegetables are often too "fresh" for his palate, so I scoured my cookbook library and found what looked like a great salad. Sweet, crunchy snap peas with the heat of a little red onion, the smokiness of crumbled pancetta and the saltiness of grated Pecorino Romano cheese, how easy is that? And that's exactly where I found this recipe - in Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? Apparently she derived this recipe from one of Union Square Café's - and Peter's declared it a winner. Another easy, summer salad. Yeah!
Snap Peas with Pancetta
(Serves 4 to 5)
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
¼ pound pancetta, sliced
½ cup good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
¼ cup minced red onion
5 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
½ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
- Bring 2 to 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Fill a large bowl with ice water and have a sieve or colander ready in the sink. Put the snap peas into the boiling water for only 10 to 15 seconds, and put immediately into the ice water. Cool completely and drain. Cut each snap pea in half length-wise and place in a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, place the pancetta and 1 tablespoon of water in a medium sauté pan and cook over medium heat until the pancetta is browned and crisp, tossing occasionally to brown evenly. The water will evaporate and the pancetta will render some of its fat. Tranfer to a plate lined with paper towels to cool.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar. Pour enough vinaigrette on the snap peas to moisten. Add the red onion, crumbled pancetta, Pecorino, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Toss well, season to taste, and serve.