The Ontario strawberries are out, and I love the sweat and tartness of it all. So, I thought that a savoury first course or lunch would be a fresh and light addition to summer dining. We had friends over last night and made this colourful salad.
8 oz (226 g) of sugar snap peas
1 1/2 cups of sliced Ontario strawberries
1/2 cup Fresh Mint, chopped
1/4 cup of hazelnuts, roasted, skinned and chopped roughly (you can also substitute unsalted macadamia nuts if you wish)
1 cup of creme fraiche or sour cream
Dressing - USE VIVA TASTINGS HOUSE DRESSING
- Remove the stem and strings from the sugar snap peas.
- Get ready a bowl of ice water for the blanching process,
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tsp of sea salt.
- Drop the prepared snow peas into the boiling water and leave for 1 to 2 minutes maximum, drain and immediately plunge into the ice water. Leave until totally cooled down. Drain and wrap in a clean tea-towel and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375F to roast the nuts.
- Remove the steams from the strawberries and slice - add to a large mixing bowl and set aside
- Roast the nuts for approximately 5 minutes or until browned, If using hazelnuts, what until they are cool and rub off the skins. Roughly chop the nuts and set aside for the garnish.
- Remove the snow peas from the tea-towel and cut into 1-inch pieces and add the bowl with the sliced strawberries.
- Chop the mint and add half of it to the bowl with the other two ingredients.
- Toss the ingredients in the bowl with a modest amount of Viva's House Dressing. TASTE and adjust with salt and pepper to enhance the flavour if needed.
- Individually Assemble the Salad - spread 1/4 cup of creme fraiche or sour cream on each salad plate, then divide the salad evenly between the four plates topping the creme fraiche with the salad,
- Garnish with the chopped mint and the chopped nuts and serve.
Chef Tip: Make your own creme fraiche
Combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 70°F) from 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick. Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10 days.