Pea Salad with Tarragon and Pea Shoots

Serves: 4

This fresh, green salad is a celebration of spring with three kinds of peas (fresh shelled green peas, plus snow and sugar snap) topped with delicate pea shoots. Toss it all with a light dressing made with tarragon and sherry vinegar.

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1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon capers, roughly chopped, plus 1/2 teaspoon brine from the jar
kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 sprigs tarragon, leaves chopped
kosher salt
3/4 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
3/4 pound snow peas, trimmed
1 cup shelled green peas
freshly ground white pepper
1/4 cup pea shoots


Make the dressing: Whisk the mustard, lemon juice and vinegar in a medium bowl. Add the capers and brine and a pinch each of salt and white pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and add the tarragon. Taste for seasoning.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding salt until it tastes like seawater. Meanwhile, set a colander in a large bowl of ice water (this will keep you from having to pick ice out of the peas later).

Add a generous pinch of sugar to the boiling water. Add the sugar snap peas and cook until bright green and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Use a strainer to remove the peas from the water and transfer them to the colander.

Bring the water back up to a boil and add the snow peas and shelled peas. Cook until they float to the surface, about 1 minute. Use the strainer to remove the peas and plunge them into the ice bath with the sugar snaps. Set aside for a couple of minutes to ensure the peas have cooled thoroughly.

Drain the peas, then spread them out on a clean kitchen towel. Use another kitchen towel to gently pat them dry, then let air-dry. (Water on the peas will dilute all of the good flavors.)

Transfer the peas to a medium bowl and season with salt, white pepper and a sprinkle of sugar. Stir to blend. Toss with the dressing and pea shoots. Taste again for seasoning and serve immediately.


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