A classic American side dish gets a bright, flavorful makeover in Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s latest cookbook.
Alex Guarnaschelli's peas and carrots salad
"Peas and carrots are a classic for a reason, with the comforting, starchy peas made vibrant by the juicy carrots. What originally began as a ‘mixed veggie’ combo on American dinner plates also happens to make an exciting and stunning salad. I combine crunchy-sweet sugar snaps with defrosted frozen peas (don’t lie—frozen peas are delicious!), or fresh ones when in season. For the dressing, we take fresh carrot juice and reduce it down to concentrate its sweetness and vibrant color. You can juice your own carrots, but you don’t have to; it’s fine to just buy the juice at the supermarket. The result is a light dressing with a great texture that is perfect for the sugar snaps. It can be fun to substitute snow peas (the flat ones) for half of the sugar snaps for even more texture and variety. You can make the dressing in advance—just make sure it’s nice and cold when you use it. This is a wonderfully refreshing recipe for a hot day. It’s also beautiful. To bulk it up as a lunch meal or a light dinner, toss in some cooked shrimp.”
PEAS AND CARROTS SALAD SERVES 2 TO 4 1 cup (8 oz.) fresh carrot juice 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 1 large garlic clove, minced Kosher salt 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil Honey or sugar (optional) 12 oz. sugar snap peas, stemmed 1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained 3 scallions (green parts only), sliced
REDUCE THE CARROT JUICE In a small saucepan, simmer the carrot juice over medium heat until it’s reduced by half, 5 to 8 minutes. Set it aside to cool completely.
MAKE THE DRESSING In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, cider vinegar and garlic. Whisk in the cooled carrot juice, a pinch of salt and the olive oil. Taste for seasoning. (Note: If your carrot juice lacks sweetness, add a touch of honey or sugar to balance the other flavors.)
MAKE THE SALAD Toss the sugar snaps and peas in the dressing. Stir in the scallions and serve immediately.