Friday, April 5, 2013

Sugar Snap Slaw with Miso Dressing

Sugar snap peas are having a moment. Everywhere I look someone is slicing, dicing, or chomping on crisp emerald sugar snaps. Some of us are even mixing a few into spicy black rice salad!

The KC kiddos love sugar snaps but let's talk cabbage for a moment. I often lament Looly's late emergence picky eating. The girl who once happily gummed avocados, artichoke hearts, salmon, and sirloin now subsists primarily on waffles, bread, and berries. But friends, at least we still have cabbage.

For whatever reason, Looly adores raw cabbage. Green, purple, it doesn't matter. Her enthusiasm is infectious to the point that Bean and Roo now complain if I miss their plates with a few crispy strips of coveted "slaw" too. I cannot complain about that.
For all their love of cabbage, the 6-and-unders here have zero in salad dressing. It doesn't matter. Let them munch their raw sugar snaps and cabbage ribbons. As usual, I set aside a deconstructed version of slaw for them - really just fresh cabbage, slices of sugar snap peas, and a few radishes, which they (perhaps oddly) also seem to enjoy. That means more yummy dressing for me. More for you. 
Sugar Snap Slaw with Miso Dressing
adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

For the dressing

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh miso (mild yellow or white)* plus more to taste
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp sunflower or grapeseed oil

Throw all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and mix until you have a thick, creamy, delicious puree. Alternatively, place all the ingredients in medium cylindrical container (like those that often come with an immersion blender) and whip to perfection with a handheld blender.

* Find fresh miso in the refrigerated section of most well-stocked grocery stores

For the Salad

1/2 pound sugar snap peas, washed and sliced on a diagonal**
1/2 pound cabbage, thinly sliced
4-6 radishes, cut into matchsticks
3-4 scallions, thinly sliced
3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (you can toast your own or buy them already toasted, like I did)

Toss all of the salad ingredients together, reserving 1 tbsp sesame seeds. Pour your desired amount of dressing over the top and toss everything together. Top with the remaining 1 tbsp sesame seeds.

You will likely have more dressing than you'll need for the slaw. Keep the extra in the fridge and it will last several days. It makes a super tasty dip for just about any crunchy veg you can think of...carrots, radishes, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, baby corn, kale chips, you name it.

**In her cookbook, Deb Perelman says to blanch the sugar snaps, but I don't find it necessary. They're lovely and delicious raw or blanched so my philosophy is, why add a step? If you prefer your veggies more tender, go ahead and blanch the peas for a couple of minutes before slicing. I skip it.

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