Pea Shoots and Sugar Snap Peas with Preserved Lemon Goat Cheese Cream

½ lb sugar snap peas

4 C pea shoots, densely packed

4 oz soft goat cheese

¼ C crème fraiche

1 T preserved lemon, seeds and pulp removed, chopped


2 T lemon juice

4 T olive oil

Sea salt and pepper

1 t honey (optional)

¼ C fresh basil, chiffonade

1 T fresh chives, snipped

Bring a pot of water to a boil, drop the snap peas into the pot and blanch for 90 seconds. Remove them with a slotted spoon and immerse in ice water. Drain well and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, whip the goat cheese for 1-2 minutes, until very creamy. Add the crème fraiche and whip again on low, until well incorporated. Fold in the chopped preserved lemons with a spatula. Set aside. (You can cover and refrigerate this for up to a week.)

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste. If you find the dressing too tart, add 1 teaspoon of honey. When you are ready to assemble the salad, gently toss the pea shoots and the sugar snap peas with 2 tablespoons of dressing. Add the basil and chives and toss again gently. Add more dressing if desired, or serve additional dressing on the side. Run a thick smear of the goat cheese cream along each plate and arrange some of the salad on top. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Spring Vegetables Over Rustic Pasta

pasta primevera



We demoed this delightful pasta dish last week on “Recipes from the Chef’s Kitchen,” a cooking show hosted by Lindsey Gustin on Fairfax Public Access television.  The ragout takes advantage of early spring vegetables and herbs and burst with flavor.  Baby carrots, turnips and even radishes should be available at farmers markets in the next few weeks.  Sugar snaps and fresh garden peas will start appearing in supermarkets by late April and at area markets by mid-May.   You also can use frozen peas or edamame. If you can’t find baby turnips or carrots, trim down mature versions so they are bite-sized.  Organic carrots and turnips tend to have more flavor.   We made this for the folks at USBG April 3, 2014 and again at Brookside April 16, 2014. The recipe was adapted from Fine Cooking. Read More