Summer has officially arrived in Portland. The sun has finally decided to show her lovely face.
I will admit, I was at my wits end – I thought that summer would never arrive. Every day I would wake up to clouds, rain, and gloom. Every day I would check on my sad little garden, which Mother Nature seemed to be intent on drowning.
And then one day, the doom and gloom was gone. The sun came out, my plants perked up, and my heart was happy. And all of the sudden, I had a happy garden that was ready for eating! After months of waiting, I now have ripe sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, rhubarb, lettuce, rainbow chard, and TONS of raspberries. I never knew that food could taste so fresh. There is just something magical about eating food that comes from your own yard (and your own hard work!).
That being said, I have a bunch of sugar snap peas right now. And, while I love sugar snap peas – I don’t exactly know what to DO with them. They are delicious raw, in a salad, or in a stiry fry. But that is about all I know to do with sugar snap peas. I’m not complaining about my lack of recipes, they are just one of those veggies that you don’t often see in other things. And I wanted to do something unexpected with them. And, then, I saw a recipe for pickled sugar snap peas.
I knew, long ago, that this would be the “summer of pickling”. Pickling is a gardener’s best friend, as it is a great way to preseve your produce (and make it last throughout the year). Plus, I just love the taste of all things pickled. This pickled sugar snap pea recipe looked really simple – and strangely delicious – and so I officially kicked off my summer of pickling with sugar snap peas. The peas are supposed to pickle for 2 weeks, so I can’t officially comment on how they taste yet. But, being the impatient person that I am — I tried a couple of them after two days of pickling and they were delicious! Crunchy, sweet, sour, and spicy. I’m not sure I’ll be able to wait the full two weeks!
In any case, even if you aren’t growing snap peas – this is a great recipe to use if you can get your hands on some good peas. I was at my local farmers market yesterday and there were snap peas everywhere! They are very much in season right now and would be easy to get your hands on for this recipe.
Pickled Sugar Snap Peas
From Smitten Kitchen who Adapted from The Joy of Pickling
1 1/4 cups white distilled vinegar (I used 1 cup of white vinegar, and 1/4 cup of a fancy herbed vinegar my mother-in-law bought me)
1 1/4 cups cold water
1 tablespoon kosher or pickling salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pound sugar snap peas, stems trimmed and strings removed
4 garlic cloves, sliced
dried red pepper flakes, 5 or 6 shakes from a shaker jar if you like things spicy
In a nonreactive saucepan, heat the vinegar with the salt and sugar until they are dissolved. Remove from the heat, and add the cold water which starts the cooling process faster.
When the vinegar mixture is cool, pack the sugar snaps, garlic and flakes into a 1-quart jar and pour the brine over it. Cover with a non-reactive cap.
The original recipe suggests you store the jar in the refrigerator for two weeks before eating the pickled peas, but it is likely that you will start eating them the next day, and the jar will be gone a few days later. :)