Monday, November 25, 2013

Green Bean & Snap Pea Salad with Orange Dressing and Hazelnuts

The beautiful sugar snap peas I have growing in my garden inspired me to make this tasty spring salad. I just love the flavours and textures of this salad - it's crisp, crunchy, sweet and nutty. It is fantastically quick and easy to make and has the most vibrant green colour - It's got to be good for you!

I love to create dishes around whats abundant in my garden, it offers wonderful inspiration. It's my first time growing sugar snap peas and I must say they are incredibly easy and quick to grow. I enjoy them in salads and stir fry's or simply straight off the bush if I feel a bit peckish whilst I'm in the garden.

2 small handfuls hazelnuts
400g green beans, trimmed and sliced diagonally or use a bean slicer to get lovely long strips
200g sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced diagonally in half
1 medium orange
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped diagonally
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
garlic salt

Lightly toast hazelnuts in a small pan over a medium heat, be carful not to burn. Remove from the heat and set aside. Once they have cooled down rub nuts to remove most of their brown skins. Roughly chop with a large sharp knife, leaving some nuts whole. Wash the orange and peel away the zest in strips, minimising the amount of white pith you take with it. Slice the strips as finely as possible, set aside. Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add the salt. While the water is heating, prepare an ice bath; fill a large bowl of water half full with cold water. Add a few cups of ice to the water and set aside. Once the water boils add the asparagus and cook for 4 minutes, remove from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and place into the ice bath. Add the beans to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, remove as you did for the asparagus and add to the ice bath. Lastly add the pea pods and cook for 1 minute, again remove and add to the ice bath. Drain the vegetables in a colander and add to a large salad bowl. Add the hazelnuts, orange zest, juice from the orange, chives, sesame oil, olive oil, freshly ground pepper and garlic salt to taste, toss to coat. Beautiful served on it's own, or as a side to meat or fish.

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