Oil dribbled off my finger tip, which I quickly caught with my tongue before it fell to the countertop. The dressing was getting there, but it was missing something. A touch more soy sauce and maybe some red pepper flakes would do the trick. My goal was simple: I wanted this bowl of snow peas to pop.
From an early age, salad dressings were one of my favorite things to make. Before I was allowed to pick up a knife or light the stove, I was put in charge of seasoning the salad. There were simple creations of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, but sometimes a sweeter balsamic dressing was more fitting. On other occasions, a lemon vinaigrette acted as the perfect match.
Salad without dressing has no chance of being anything more than a variety of textures. And we don’t eat something for the crunch alone. Even a little olive oil, salt, and some lemon juice can go a long way.
A salad, like the one presented here, is not always your green-based variety. It can be a single, seasonal vegetable that needs some love to liven it up. And, being one that will most likely be consumed alongside other dishes (maybe some soy-marinated chicken or fish that you’ll be throwing on the grill this Memorial Day weekend), it needs a dressing that stays true to the meal as a whole.
I coated the snow peas, pulled out a fork from the drawer and dug in. My senses were overwhelmed in the best possible way. Looking down at the bowl, I smiled and thought, “This is what cooking is all about. This is magic.”
Snow Peas with Sesame Dressing
To blanch the snow peas, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the snow peas to the pot and cook until they turn bright green, approximately 30 seconds. Drain immediately into a colander and run cold water over the snow peas until they have cooled.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together both oils, the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger powder, and crushed red pepper until thoroughly combined. In a serving bowl, toss the snow peas with the dressing. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and green onion over the snow peas and toss to combine.
Let chill for 30 minutes before serving.