This Snow Pea Salad is vibrant green and full of crunchy sweet snow peas and mild seeds, just perfect with creamy avocado and the subtle Dijon Vinaigrette.
More on the vegetables for this Snow Pea Salad
Snow Peas are the flat variety you see with very small peas inside. They are mildly flavoured and can be eaten raw, a great addition to your salads. These are the peas that you will most often see in Asian cooking.
The health benefits of Snow Peas…
- They contain vitamins B1, B2, B3, C and K (important for helping your blood to clot).
- The minerals potassium (helps to regulate blood pressure), calcium and iron (important in the formation of red blood cells).
- A good source of dietary fibre and they also contain folate.
Choosing and storing your snow peas…
Look for bright green pods that are waxy to the touch and avoid the ones that look shriveled and dried up.
Store in the crisper section of the fridge for no more than a few days for optimum flavour though they can last up to a week.
Though a herb watercress is used more like a salad green, it grows in running water and can be found growing in the wild in creeks and rivers in Australia.
It is a lush, leafy semi-aquatic plant with leaves that have a fresh, peppery, rich and slightly bitter taste.
The health benefits of watercress…
- Source of vitamins A, C and K (helps blood to clot).
- Contains the minerals iron (for production of red blood cells), calcium (for the health of your bones), potassium (regulates blood pressure) and manganese (involved in brain and nerve function).
- Also, dietary fibre for a healthy bowel.
Choosing and storing your watercress…
Look for fresh-looking bunches with green firm leaves and stalks, avoid any wilted or yellow leaves.
Watercress must be used within a few days of purchasing, store the crisper section of our fridge.
If your watercress is looking a little limp you can refresh by submerging in cold water for 10 minutes.
Avocados are classed as a fruit vegetable and have a rich, mellow flavour and a smooth, creamy texture. Different avocado varieties are available throughout the year
The health benefits of avocados…
- Contain Vitamins C (used for growth and repair of tissues) and K (helps your blood to clot) and folate (helps produces and maintains new cells.
- Contain the minerals potassium (helps to regulate blood pressure) and manganese (helps to regulate of brain and nerve function).
- Also, contain dietary fibre for a healthy bowel.
The majority of avocados are sold unripe as they bruise easily. Make sure that your avocados are firm, heavy and on the large size as this usually means that there is more flesh than pit.
To choose a ripe avocado gently press around the stem and if it yields then the fruit is ripe.
Hass avocados are the only varieties that change colour from green to black when they are ripe, all other types are green when ripe.
How to store your avocados…
Avocados should be stored at room temperature until they are ripe, you may be able to speed up the avocado ripening process by placing unripe avocados in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana for two to three days.
After an avocado has ripened you may store it in your fridge, otherwise, its flavour may be ruined.
You can store cut avocados by squeezing lemon juice on the cut flesh and keeping them covered in your fridge.
More on the seeds and vinaigrette used in this Snow Pea Salad…
Sunflower seeds are the fruits of the sunflower plant and are rich in B complex vitamins
Strictly speaking, pumpkin and pepita seeds are the same thing but pepitas are found only in certain pumpkin varieties and don’t have a shell.
Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc and magnesium.
They both add a light nutty flavour and crunch to this salad.
When choosing an olive oil always choose “virgin” or “extra virgin” varieties as this means that the oil has been extracted by mechanical and not chemical means. This ensures the flavour and health benefits are not compromised during processing.
Olive oil does not improve with age and is at its peak when young. If stored properly in sealed bottles in a cool, dark place it will last for 12 months.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats that are better for you and contain a wide variety of valuable antioxidants.
Similar to white wine vinegar as they are both only slightly sour. The difference is that champagne is double fermented, which gives it its fizzy character. Thus, champagne vinegar is lighter and fizzier than white wine vinegar.
Originated from the city of Dijon, which is the capital of the Burgundy region of France.
The traditional Dijon mustard recipe includes white wine and ground brown mustard seeds along with salt and other spices.
One of the crucial ingredients in traditional Dijon mustard is verjuice which is made from unripe grape. This tart liquid gives Dijon mustard its characteristic complex sharp flavour.
Preparing the vegetables for this Snow Pea Salad…
Preparing your Snow Peas…
Unless you have purchased a stringless variety the strings for sugar snap peas and snow peas will have to be removed.
Pinch the stem end of the pod with either your fingers or a knife then pull the string down towards the other end, to release the peas from the inside run your finger on the inside of the pod. Discard the strings and pods.
More mature pods may need stringing on both sides, often you can do this from both sides at once – by cutting the stem carefully and pulling down both sides at once.
Preparing your Watercress…
Rinse under cold running water in a strainer, pick the sprigs with leaves off the main stem, discarding the stem as this can be tough and chewy.
Pat dry with a towel or for the best results spin dry in a salad spinner as it will allow the dressing to adhere to the leaves without watering it down.
How to Peel an Avocado…
Using a large spoon slide it between the skin and the flesh of the avocado half. Work from the wide bottom to the top in one movement to remove the whole piece.
Snow Pea Salad – a verdant Spring Salad
- Salad Spinner
For the salad…
- 250 grams snow peas (keep a handful for garnish)
- 150 grams watercress
- 1 avocado
- 2 tbsps Pepita or Pumpkin Seeds (toasted)
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
For the vinaigrette…
- 5 tbsps olive oil
- 3 1/2 tbsps Chardonnay vinegar (you may substitute with white wine vinegar)
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsps Sunflower seeds (toasted)
- Rinse the snow peas in a colander under cold running water, pat dry. Remove the tips, tails and strings, then cut into julienne. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Wash your watercress then spin in a salad spinner to remove excess water. Transfer to your bowl.
- Peel your avocado remove the pit, then cut into a medium dice. Transfer to your bowl.
- Put all the dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, season with salt and pepper, toss until the salad ingredients have been coated with the dressing. Taste the salad and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
- Arrange in a salad bowl and serve immediately.
The video in this recipe is courtesy of Chatelaine.
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