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Friday, March 27, 2009

Asparagus, Pea, Radish, and Scallion Salad with Ginger-Miso Dressing

I rinse off the peas, but don't cut off the tips or cut them into the size until after I blanch and shock them. I have found that if I remove the tips first, that the pods fill with water while they’re blanch, making the salad watery. Be sure to have a pot or sink full of cold water before you start blanching--you want to stop the cooking immediately or you'll wind up with mushy peas. (And nobody wants mushy peas in salad!)

The secret to this dressing is the orange marmalade. Many ginger-miso salad dressing recipes call for sugar and I wanted to try making it without the sugar. It’s a divine marriage of flavors.

Serves 4

2 cups (8 ounces) snow peas or sugar snap peas or a mix, trimmed
1 cup asparagus tips
2 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
4 radishes, trimmed and cut into thin strips (about 1/2 cup)
¼ cup black sesame seeds

For dressing:
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoon sesame seed oil
3 tablespoons white miso
1 teaspoon tamari
1-2 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
2 tablespoons water

Bring two quarts water to boil. Blanch peas for 1 minute, submerge in cold water to stop cooking, and drain. Cut the snow peas on the diagonal into ½-inch diamond shapes, discarding the end pieces. In a medium serving bowl, combine the peas, scallions, radishes, and sesame seeds. Put all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Pour dressing and sesame seeds over the salad. Toss and serve immediately.

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