• Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side dish

  • Time: 15 minutes prep, 15 minutes total

Sweet and crisp, raw sugar snap peas are hard to resist. In this recipe they are chopped into bite-size pieces and paired with crispy chunks of radish, a bit of mint and crumbles of smooth, creamy, fresh cheese. 

Cook to Cook: Latino-style cheeses are turning up more and more in supermarkets across the country. Meant to be crumbled with fingers, they have a pure milk flavor and gentleness that is delicious. They’re not great melters, which may be the reason we don’t turn to them as often as we should. They are very reasonably priced, and vary depending on the part of the country you are in. Look for queso fresco or queso panela.

  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed, stringed, cut into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal

  • 2 bunch radishes, about 10, trimmed, and cut into quarters

  • 2 tightly packed tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint, plus additional sprig for garnish

  • 4 ounces queso fresco or other fresh cheese such as queso panela, fresh ricotta or farmer’s cheese, crumbled

1. In a large serving bowl, combine the garlic, lemon juice and vinegar, and let macerate 10-15 minutes. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, then add salt and pepper as needed.

2. Add the sugar snap peas, radishes and mint, and toss to coat in the dressing. Taste for seasoning, adding more lemon, salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle the crumbled queso fresco over the top, give an additional toss to distribute and garnish with a sprig of mint. 

Pea salad Photo: Jennifer Simonson
Sally Swift
Sally Swift is the managing producer and co-creator of The Splendid Table. Before developing the show, she worked in film, video and television, including stints at Twin Cities Public Television, Paisley Park, and Comic Relief with Billy Crystal. She also survived a stint as segment producer on The Jenny Jones Show.