There's a chef's booth at the Evanston farmer's market where each week a chef demonstrates a recipe made of a seasonal ingredients. This week it was this salad made of snap peas and radishes - both very abundant at this week's market. I tried a little sample and was pleased with the crunch and the bright dressing.
Most notable about this salad is that the snap peas are sliced on the bias. They break apart into little ovals and release some of the little peas inside making the snap pea nearly unrecognizable but very interesting looking. The radishes are sliced thin too, so the salad is somewhat labor intensive. If you want to make it for a large group of people, be prepared to be slicing for a while.
The chef at the market (whose name I don't remember (sorry!)) said you could use any salty crumbly cheese. She had used queso fresco (Jeanette! I'm thinking of you) instead of ricotta salata and it was delish. When I made it at home I used feta because I had some to use up. That was also good. You could also use a farmer's cheese and of course the ricotta salata. All are crumbly, salty and very fresh pressed cheeses.
The other thing about this recipe is that it calls for balsamic vinegar. The chef at the market had used champagne vinegar. When I made it at home I went for white balsamic (my fave) I could see using cider vinegar too. You want something with a hint of sweetness, I think.
The main thing is to make this salad now, while its major ingredients are at their peak.
Sugar Snap Pea Salad With Radishes, Mint and Ricotta Salata
3/4 cup sliced radishes
4 ounces sugar snap peas, sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
4 ounces ricotta salata, crumbled (about 1 cup)
1/2 bunch mint leaves, torn (about 1/3 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch kosher salt, more to taste
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste.
1. In a large bowl, toss together the radishes, peas, ricotta and mint.