Triple Sesame Snow Pea Salad Recipe

Pois Gourmands

[Triple Sesame Snow Pea Salad]

In French, snow peas (or sugar snap peas, apparently the difference is that snow peas are a lighter green) are called Pois Gourmands (Gourmand Peas) or Haricots Mangetout (Eat-Everything Beans). The reason for that, I just found out, is that unlike regular peas, you eat the pod as well, so you “eat everything”. And eating everything makes you a qualified gourmand, hence the alternate name. Cute, huh?

I love the sweet taste and the mix of softness and crunch these peas provide, and I think they lend themselves particularly well to Asian-style salads. Maxence and I have experimented over time with different sets of ingredients for the dressing, but I came up with the following on Monday night, which I liked very much. I will call it Triple Sesame Snow Pea Salad, as it involves sesame in three forms : sesame seeds, sesame oil and sesame butter.

Boil 250g of snow peas in salted water for 5 minutes, then dump them in ice cold water to stop the cooking. Drain. Toast a tablespoon of sesame seeds (I used both white and black seeds for a nicer visual effect) in a dry skillet.

For the dressing, I can only give approximate measurements here, as this works best with a spontaneous listen-to-your-heart approach – plus it’s a lot more fun that way! In a salad bowl, mix a tsp of soy sauce, a tsp of rice vinegar (substitute any other vinegar, but preferably a sweet one, like cider or balsamic), a tsp of olive oil, a tsp of sesame oil, a squirt of hot sauce, a tsp of confiture d’oignon (you can substitute chutney, honey or any not-overly-sweet jam), a tbsp of tahini (sesame butter), salt and pepper.

Add the beans and the sesame seeds to the dressing, and toss gently to coat. Place in the fridge to cool for a little while, the longer the better, so the flavors have time to develop. This feeds two as a light main course, and can be served topped with a poached egg, accompanied by slices of bread, toasted and cut into fingers or triangles.

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  • Deb

    Wow! What a lovely salad, it sounds delicious. I like the idea of using the black and white sesames, it really does make a more dramatic presentation, great photo too!

  • Thanks Deb! The black sesame seeds we bought on the rue de Belleville, where there are tons of Chinese grocery stores. We wanted to recreate the delicious cabbage salad they serve at the sushi place we often go to. We’re not quite there yet, though!
    As for the picture, it’s a great compliment coming from you! I would say half the fun of this blog for me is this food photography bug I caught…

  • Rebecca

    Beautiful salad, Clotilde! I will have to try this, as I love snow peas.

    An interesting note – in the States, snow peas and sugar snap peas are differentiated by shape more than color. Snow peas are more flat, and you can really see the “bumps” where the peas in the pod are. They kind of look like peas in green shrink wrap. :) Sugar snap peas are more dome-shaped, and you can’t really make out the peas inside. They sometimes have annoying strings, too.

    Just thought you might like to know!

  • Hello Rebecca!
    Thanks for pointing that out! The color thing I took off of a couple websites (along with the trivia that sugar snap peas are a cross between snow peas and green beans), but now that you mention it, I remember eating the round-podded sugar snap peas too, in stir-frys and the like. I like snow peas best, though, better texture!

  • sylvie

    Elle a l’air super ta salade !
    Mais ce n’est pas la saison des pois gourmands ! tu les as achetés chez Hédiard ? ou surgelés ?

  • Maman,
    Non non, ils viennent du Kenya, en passant par Champion! :)

  • gosh! now i’m hungry. i luv the bigger version of snow peas which are crunchier and sweeter. stir fry with garlic is so … HMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

  • Liza

    Hi Clotilde,
    what a wonderful idea for snow pea salad! I loved the dressing!
    Thank you for the recipe!

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