Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sugar Snap Peas with Mint and Cheese

Franny's is one of my favorite restaurants in Brooklyn. They are known for their brick-oven pizzas and carefully executed pasta dishes.

The menu changes every day. They buy primarily from local and organic vendors. When you flip your menu over, you see where they sourced each ingredient from. They even convert their leftover kitchen grease to biodiesel fuel. Their mission is to be environmentally responsible, and it shows in every decision they make.

Recently, I had the perfect early summer dish at Franny's. It was called Sugar Snap Peas with Mint, Scallions and Pecorino Marzolino. The sugar snap peas, grown at Evolutionary Organics in New Paltz, New York, were perfectly sweet and crunchy. They had been lightly blanched and then sauteed up. The pecorino marzolino, a fresh mild sheep's milk cheese (like fresh mozzarella with a firmer texture) was cubed and complimented the peas perfectly.

Since Franny's menu changes so often, I knew those sugar snap peas I loved might not be on the menu the next time I came in. If I wanted to have them again, and if I wanted to have them often (the Franny's sugar snap peas were $12!), I would have to recreate the recipe myself.

A little searching and I found this recipe from Meatless Mondays that I took and adapted slightly to fit with what I was craving. I forgot about the scallions that Franny's included, so I'll have to try added a sprinkling of those in with my saute next time.

What's the best dish you've had at a restaurant lately?

Sugar Snap Peas with Mint, Lemon and Cheese
adapted from Meatless Mondays

1 pound sugar snap peas
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon finely shredded mint leaves
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
Chopped cheese (pecorino marzolino, fontina, or another soft, yet firm cheese)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt, and blanch the peas until crisp and tender, about 2 minutes. Drain the peas in a colander, and rinse them under cold running water. Drain the peas again.

Heat the oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the sugar snap peas and cook, stirring until heated through, about 1-2 minutes.

Remove the peas from the heat. Stir in the mint, lemon zest and small pieces of cubed cheese. Serve warm.


  1. I thought I was all caught up...wrong, you've been posting again! ;-) These look delicious and worthy...I think I will spend a week just cooking from your blog.

  2. Thanks Kayte! These were delicious and so, so easy!

  3. Looks terrific! I'm afraid peas are already past season here in Austin. I haven't gotten any in my CSA for a few weeks now. I'll have to bookmark this recipe for next year.

  4. Thanks Shelley! It's amazing how short some of the seasons are. Asparagus season just flew by for us here, and I'm afraid I could have made more of it.