Nothing says spring like the arrival of garden-fresh vegetables like sugar snap peas. You'll find fresh sugar snap peas at the grocery store, farmer's markets and roadside stands during spring and early summer. They are best served raw or cooked within 2 days of purchase.

We're sharing a sugar snap pea dish that is earthy, green and delicious. It is easy to make, especially if you find sugar snaps in stores that sell them pre-trimmed. If not, you can easily trim them. Start at the bottom tip, and pull the string up the front, then snap off the stem and pull the string down the back. This ensures that the sugar snaps aren't stringy.

Soy sauce enriches the flavor of these green gems. Although soy sauce is best-known in Asian cuisine, it can enhance many types of recipes. Look for a reduced-sodium version of soy sauce. Commonly found brands include Kikkoman Lite and San-J Reduced Sodium, which reduce sodium by 37% and 25% respectively. You can further reduce sodium content by dilluting with water.

Experiment with the amount of red pepper flakes to complement the soy sauce and create just the level of zest you like.

Honey is an integral part of the dressing for taste and consistency. If your honey is too thick to easily combine with the other ingredients, then warm it gently by setting the jar in a pan of hot water for a minute or so.

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The regular type of sesame seed oil works well, while roasted sesame seed oil would provide a darker color and richer, more intense flavor. Crunchy sesame seeds add nice texture to the dish.

This recipe for Sesame Sugar Snap Peas makes a great accompaniment to fish dishes. It works especially well with broiled, baked or grilled salmon.

Sesame Sugar Snap Peas

Makes 4 servings.

Directions

  • 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 lb. sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame seed oil (can use toasted sesame seed oil)
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Ingredients

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  1. Place oven rack in highest position and preheat broiler.
  2. In mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil and garlic. Add snap peas and toss to coat well.
  3. On baking dish, place snap peas in single layer. Broil until tender, about 5-6 minutes.
  4. While peas are cooking, mix together soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper flakes and honey.
  5. After removing snap peas from oven, gently toss with soy sauce mixture. Garnish with sesame seeds.
  6. Serve hot or chilled as side dish. Hot is most common.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
90 calories
4 g total fat
0.5 g saturated fat
11 g carbohydrate
3 g protein
3 g dietary fiber
140 mg sodium