- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, warmed
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh summer peas, such as snap peas, snow peas, shell peas and/or favas
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard (optional)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- Red pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds (I use marcona), coarsely chopped
- 2 to 3 ounces sliced or crumbled ricotta salata cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
(Note: It’s up to you if you want to cook snow peas and/or snow peas; both are delicious raw. For this salad, I cook the snow peas for 30 seconds at 1 minute but I leave the snow peas raw.)
Cook your peas: Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. If you are using favas or shelled peas, remove them and discard their pods. Cook the favas in the water for 3 minutes; shell peas for 1 minute and snow peas and/or snow peas for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove them immediately with a slotted spoon and drop them into the ice bath. If you choose not to cook your snap peas or snow peas, skip the pan and put them straight into ice water for 10 minutes for optimal juicy crunch.
A pea is completely cold, drain it and dry it on a large towel. If you used fava, you have one final preparation step: you’ll need to make a small slit with a sharp paring knife in the light green outer pod so that the nice dark green inner part of the fava can slip out.
Finish training: Add Dijon, if using, 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt (about 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Diamond), freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes to the dressing and whisk to combine, tasting for seasoning and adjusting if necessary. If you want it less spicy, add the rest of the tablespoon of olive oil.
Assemble and finish: Transfer peas to a bowl and toss with dressing to taste; you may not need everything. Add more seasoning, if needed. Add almonds, cheese and mint and mix again. Eat right away.
Do it in advance: Vegetables and dressing can be prepared and chilled, separately, up to a day in advance. Mix just before serving.