Mixing sweet sugar snap peas with a roasted cashew nut mix scattered against creamy Fior di latte and all tied together with a fresh chilli basil oil, our easy Sugar Snap Pea Salad is ready to mingle at any picnic or barbecue party.
- Why You’ll Love This Salad
- Snow Peas Vs Snap Peas
- Are Sugar Snap Peas Healthy?
- How To Prepare Sugar Snap Peas
- What Is Fior Di Latte?
- Recipe Overview
- How to Make the Salad
- How to Make The Dressing
- How to Assemble the Salad
- Variations and Substitutions
- How to Serve
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why You’ll Love This Salad
How often in a salad do we showcase only one vegetable? Not often, really.
So when you have a basket full of in-season sugar snap peas, it is time to create a sugar snap pea salad recipe that showcases its deliciousness and let this humble legume shine. Sweet, vibrant, crunchy and full of yummy goodness, sugar snap peas are fantastic in salads.
Because of its crunchy texture, I wanted to offset chopped fresh sugar snap peas with something creamy and soft. So I decided with a soft cheese but something not too overpowering so that sugar snap peas can still push through with its sweetness.
Fior di latte is typically melted on pizzas, but it is deliciously creamy when eaten fresh. The wonderful stretchy strands and delicate curves would be great in the sugar snap pea salad recipe.
Roasted cashews nut and seed mix not only delivers another layer of crunch but also roasted aromas and flavouring.
And to tie it all in, I blitzed basil leaves with garlic and chilli flakes to create an aromatic fresh chilli basil oil that works magic on the sugar snap peas and Fior di latte.
Together, a contrasting plate of textures and flavours makes our sugar snap pea salad so delicious, vibrant and not so boring!
Snow Peas Vs Snap Peas
At a glance, you can get snow peas and sugar snap peas mixed up as they have similar appearances. This is because they are both members of the legume family and come from climbing plants.
So what are the differences between snow peas vs snap peas?
Sugar snap peas, also known as snap peas, are a cross between snow peas and garden peas. They were developed in the late 60s by Calvin Lamborn because he wanted the sweetness of the green pea without having to shell them.
Therefore the whole pod is eaten with a crisp texture and a delightfully sweet flavour. Sugar snap peas are more rounded in shape compared to snow peas.
Snow peas originated in Southwest Asia and are very popular in Chinese cooking, hence why they are also known as Chinese pea pods.
They are flatter in shape with tiny peas inside. Snow peas are grown for the whole pod vs the peas inside. I find snow peas more tender compared to sugar snap peas but still sweet and fresh. You eat the entire pod, but often the tough string along the edges are removed before eating.
Due to their flavour profile and texture, you can use snow peas and sugar snap peas interchangeably in recipes. They can be both eaten raw or cooked. I find them great additions to salads, like in our Cantaloupe Salad, but we also love to use them in stir-fry, steamed or noodle soup recipes.
Plus a great addition to lunch boxes or a grazing platter, served next to homemade dips.
Are Sugar Snap Peas Healthy?
Yes, most definitely, sugar snap peas are healthy. They pretty much share the same nutritional profile as snow peas.
Sugar snap peas have very low calories and are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and fibre. Filled with antioxidants, sugar snap peas can help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve blood pressure.
How To Prepare Sugar Snap Peas
If you are eating sugar snap peas whole, you can remove the string on the side first, as they can be tough and not as pleasant when eating them.
To do this, snap the top of the sugar snap pea and gently pull and remove the string along the side of each pod.
However, for the sugar snap pea salad, I didn’t bother to remove the string. The string is less noticeable when it is thinly sliced.
What Is Fior Di Latte?
Fior di latte cheese is a semi-soft cheese made with fresh cow’s milk in the style of Italian mozzarella. It has a delicate creamy flavour with a stretchy, elastic texture.
The main difference between Fior di latte and mozzarella is the raw ingredient used. The process used to make the cheeses are quite similar.
Traditionally mozzarella is made with buffalo milk, whilst Fior di latte is exclusively made with cow’s milk. However, over the years, there is less mozzarella being made with buffalo milk. There is also a slight difference in taste as Fior di latte is creamier in flavour with a softer texture than mozzarella.
Meaning flower of the milk, Fior di latte is very popular on pizzas, pasta and the classic Caprese salad. It works well in high temperatures, just like mozzarella.
Flavour/Texture: I love having different textures in a salad. Less chance of it being boring! This Sugar Snap Pea Salad is a plate full of contrasting textures delivered by chopped fresh sugar snap peas against crunchy roasted cashews, all set on a backdrop of creamy Fior di latte cheese.
As for the flavours, sugar snap pea salad does send me spring summer vibes with sweet sugar snap peas mixed with the chilli basil oil dressing. Lots of freshness and vibrancy throughout.
Ease: This is an easy salad. You may need the oven and food processor to help you, but all the steps are quick and straightforward to complete.
Time: You can slice sugar snap peas and make the chilli basil oil dressing whilst cashew nuts and seeds are roasting in the oven. This is a quick gluten free salad that can be easily done in around 20 minutes.
These are the ingredients you need for Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Fior di Latte:
Sugar snap peas: When selecting sugar snap peas, look for bright green glossy pods. The pods should be plump, almost bursting. Avoid those that are limp or dry along the seam.
Cashew nuts: As we will be roasting the cashew nuts in the oven, select raw cashew nuts for this recipe.
Sunflower / Sesame seeds: To add texture and extra nutty flavours, I added sunflower and sesame seeds to the cashew nut mix.
Rice malt syrup: Derived from brown rice, rice malt syrup gives a deep rich flavour with a mild sweetness. It has a thicker consistency than honey. I use this in place of honey for particular vegan or vegetarian recipes as it is a plant-based sweetener.
Fior di latte: Meaning flower of the milk, Fior di latte is very popular on pizzas, pasta and the classic Caprese salad. It works well in high temperatures, just like mozzarella. You can find it in large supermarkets and the local deli.
Basil: Adding another layer of freshness to the sugar snap pea salad, I chose to use basil in the salad dressing. Aromatic and sweet, basil is great in salad dressings. Alternatively, you can try fresh mint leaves as peas and mint are a classic pairing.
Garlic: I like adding a little garlic to dressings to give an extra punch.
Chilli flakes: Dried chilli flakes are a pantry staple for us. The heat it adds can vary depending on what kind you have! Do adjust according to your tastes.
Extra virgin olive oil: Good quality extra virgin olive oil will work as the base for the chilli basil oil dressing.
Follow these instructions on how to make Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Fior di latte:
How to Make the Salad
Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F.
Add raw cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and rice malt syrup in a large mixing bowl. Mix so that all nuts and seeds are coated with rice malt syrup.
Place nut mix on a lined oven tray and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Be careful to watch the roasting process as you don’t want to burn the roasted cashews and seeds.
Once roasted cashews and nuts are done, remove them from the oven to cool down.
Wash sugar snap peas, then top and tail the snap pea pods.
Thinly slice sugar snap peas on a diagonal.
How to Make The Dressing
Add basil leaves, garlic, dried chilli flakes and extra virgin olive oil into the food processor.
Blitz together so that ingredients are combined, and you have small flecks of basil.
The chilli basil oil dressing is not like pesto, so it should not be gluggy or thick. It is essentially an oil with finely chopped basil, garlic and chilli flakes blended through it.
If you feel there is not enough oil, add extra until you get a fluid consistency.
How to Assemble the Salad
Remove Fior di latte from the pot and pat dry. Then pull it apart and tear into large chunks.
Place Fior di latte on a large serving platter.
Scatter sliced sugar snap peas over Fior di latte.
Roughly chop up the roasted cashew nuts and seeds and scatter over salad.
To finish, drizzle chilli basil oil over sugar snap pea salad.
Serve with crusty bread.
Variations and Substitutions
Using snow peas: If you can’t find sugar snap peas, you can replace them with snow peas. Texturally, it will be similar, but sugar snaps are sweeter.
Nut and seed mix: I used raw cashews, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds in the roasted cashew mix because I had them in my pantry. If you don’t have these ingredients, you can substitute them with your own favourite nut and seed mix. I would suggest trying walnuts, pecans and pepitas as well.
Nut-free option: Omit cashews and substitute with pepitas.
Substituting Fior di latte: Buffalo mozzarella would be suitable for this sugar snap pea salad recipe or if you prefer smaller pieces, use bocconcini.
Chilli basil oil: if you already have some leftover pesto in the fridge and wish to use it up, this sugar snap pea salad is a great one to use it with. I would add some olive oil and possibly some lemon juice to thin out the pesto and create a pesto dressing.
Replacing rice malt syrup: If you don’t have rice malt syrup, you can use honey instead.
How to Serve
Here are some main dishes that will go well with Sugar Snap Pea Salad:
Lancashire lamb hot pot: This is a traditional northern English dish consisting of lamb and vegetables in a luscious gravy and topped with sliced potatoes. Serve it up with a crunchy sugar snap pea salad for a wholesome and flavourful family meal, perfect for a cold day!
Baked crunchy breaded fish: What better way to serve up this fantastic fresh sugar snap pea salad with Italian Fior di latte cheese than with an equally crunchy baked breaded fish fillet? The home made fish breading is made with breadcrumbs flavoured with shallots, garlic, and fresh parsley. How good is that?
Crumbed veal cutlet: If you’re after a protein you may not always make at home, try this crumbed veal cutlet recipe for a fancier dinner or even just a midweek meal. This sugar snap pea salad with some Italian cheese and roasted cashews is a great pair up with the veal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! You can eat sugar snap peas raw. I prefer them raw because they are so sweet. Great with dips and as a healthy lunchbox snack.
I have seen other recipes that blanch sugar snap peas before adding them to a salad. If you have fresh sugar snap peas, then it is not necessary to blanch them beforehand. You can eat sugar snap peas raw, and they retain more of their sweetness when eaten raw.
Yes, you can make this beforehand, especially if you have other things to cook in the oven. Store in the fridge until ready. Drizzle dressing at the time of serving.
Sugar snap peas can be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week. However, it is always best to eat sugar snap peas sooner rather than later.
Our sugar snap pea salad with Fior di latte is a vibrant mix of fresh sugar snap peas with crunch roasted cashew nuts and seeds together with an aromatic chilli basil oil. Such an easy gluten free salad that can be packed for outdoor gatherings in 20 minutes. I love the freshness and vibrancy throughout.
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Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Fior di Latte
- 1 cup basil
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- ½ cup olive oil, extra virgin
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F.
- Add raw cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and rice malt syrup in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix so that all nuts and seeds are coated with rice malt syrup.
- Place nut mix on a lined oven tray and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove roasted cashews and nuts from the oven to cool down.
- Thinly slice sugar snap peas on a diagonal.
- Add basil leaves, garlic, dried chilli flakes and extra virgin olive oil in the food processor.
- Blitz together so that ingredients are combined, and you have small flecks of basil.
- If chilli basil oil feels gluggy, add extra oil to loosen it up.
- Remove Fior di latte from the pot and pat dry.
- Pull Fior di latte apart and tear into large chunks.
- Place Fior di latte on a large serving platter.
- Scatter sliced sugar snap peas over Fior di latte.
- Roughly chop up the roasted cashew nuts and seeds and scatter over salad.
- To finish, drizzle chilli basil oil over sugar snap pea salad.
- If you can’t find sugar snap peas, you can replace them with snow peas. Texturally, it will be similar, but sugar snaps are sweeter.
- You can substitute with your own favourite nut and seed mix. I would suggest trying walnuts, pecans and pepitas as well.
- Omit cashews and substitute with pepitas for a nut free option.
- Buffalo mozzarella would be suitable for Fior di latte or if you prefer smaller pieces, use bocconcini.
- If you already have some leftover pesto in the fridge and wish to use it up, this sugar snap pea salad is a great one to use it with. I would add some olive oil and possibly some lemon juice to thin out the pesto and create a pesto dressing.
- Replace rice malt syrup with honey if you don’t have it available.
- You can make a double batch of the roasted cashews and save it for snacks.
- Fresh mint leaves can be an alternative to basil leaves in the salad dressing.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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