Yesterday was the day I had been waiting for for months – opening day at the Braintree Farmers Market.
It was a gray, drizzly morning, but I was not deterred. I love this market. It opens really late in the season, but it’s worth the wait.
I was super-excited to visit Second Nature Farm’s booth. Farmer Adam runs a 4-acre organic farm and his vegetables are really unique. I picked-up some beautiful purple radishes. Adam said they were an heirloom variety with a bit of a kick – I think they might be in the easter egg family, and he was right – they are a bit spicy. They’re delicious – I’ve been eating them raw with a little sprinkle of Maldon salt. I also picked-up some sweet sugar snap peas.
My next stop was C.N. Smith Farm’s booth where I chose some beautiful and incredibly fragrant strawberries. Their strawberry picking season begins this week and I can’t wait to go pick my own.
Then I really hit the jackpot when my mother-in-law Nancy gave me some fresh chives from her garden last night.
I wanted to combine some of my loot in a way that would showcase the freshness of the produce. This salad is the perfect accompaniment to whatever you’re grilling tonight. If you can, try to use local ingredients, but even if the fruit and veggies weren’t grown down the road, you’ll love this dish. The dressing is really versatile, so make extra and you can use it again later in the week to mix with field greens and some feta cheese.
This salad is great on it’s own or you can serve with grilled chicken for a heartier meal.
Strawberry, Almond & Sugar Snap Pea Salad
Adapted from Epicurious.com
1/2 cup Marcona almonds (or roasted, unsalted almonds)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 cup sugar snap peas fresh peas, blanches and cooled
3 cups baby arugula or mixed baby greens
8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled, halved or quartered if large (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon fresh chives
Chive blossoms for garnish
In a small skillet, toast sesame seeds over low-heat until golden.
Combine mustard, vinegar, mustard and honey in a medium jar. Pour in oil; shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Blanche sugar snap peas in a medium saucepan of boiling water until bright green and tender. Drain; transfer to a colander set in a bowl of ice water. Drain.
Build salad with greens, strawberries, peas and almonds. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad; lightly toss to coat. Top with chives and sesame seeds. Garnish with chive blossoms.