Easter is just a few days away. One of my favorite parts of the day is planning brunch. I go for simple ingredients and even easier cooking methods.
The truth is you can plan a fab meal with a few simple steps and here’s one: a quick recipe of Sugar Snap Peas with Basil.
This year I’ll be driving back from Big Bend in the West Texas desert. I wanted to leave you with a little something. So here it is!
8 C of water
1/4 to 1/2 C of kosher salt
1 lb of sugar snap peas, stemmed
1 Tbls of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C of fresh basil, julienne
Sprinkling of salt & pepper
Pour water in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1/4C of salt (it will dissolve, have a bit of a taste - water should taste like salt. Add more salt if needed). Add sugar snaps and bring heat down to medium high/medium.
Cook for 3 minutes. Pull one sugar snap out to test. If it has a slight crunch it’s done. Scoop peas out with a colander and pour into the well of another colander that has been outfitted into a bowl of iced water . Swish peas around in cold water until cool. This will stop the cooking process. Pull colander (w/peas) out of the cold water. Over the bowl gently shake off excess water and place peas on toweling to dry. This process is a technique called blanching.
Pat excess water off the peas. Place peas on a a beautiful platter, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with julienne basil, salt and pepper. Serve!
This is a perfect side dish for ham, beef tenderloin or a roast chicken. Serves 6 side servings.
Here’s a cool picture to show you the basics of how to julienne.
Which means to cut into thin or match-like strips:
1. Pile basil leaves one on top of the other.
2. Roll leaves into a “cigar”.
3. Turn so that the roll is horizontal.
4. Begin slicing, with a rocking motion, from one end to the other - very thin slices.
5. With your fingertips undo strips from roll.
6. Sprinkle julienne strips on peas.
This technique should be done right before you are ready to eat your dish. Because the basil is so delicate it will bruise and brown easily.