Minted Snap Peas


Summer is here! On Saturday, at our farmer’s market, I had a moment of panic. Looking at all of the fresh fruits and vegetables finally available to me, I felt frustrated that I couldn’t cook and eat it all. There is just SO much right now: berries, peppers, greens, tomatoes, zucchini, herbs! In a couple of months it will all be gone, at least the stuff that grows locally. Time is of the essence.

This summer I have been gravitating toward recipes that don’t require much work. In part because it is easy, in part because it allows me to prepare more food in a shorter amount of time. This simple preparation of snap peas is a good example. Adding some mint oil and salt to a cup of snap peas transforms them into one of the best snacks I have ever eaten. Honestly, we couldn’t stop and this recipe that was supposed to serve 6 people was devoured by Bryan and and me over the course of the afternoon. One of Bryan’s least favorite things is when people say that a particular food is “addicting“. So I’ll just say again that it is very difficult to stop eating these snap peas.


The recipe is from Modern Mediterranean by Malia Marden. It is a strange cookbook that, after initially distrusting, I have grown to really like. It is the least chef-y cookbook written by a chef that I’ve ever read, which is a compliment. It makes me like Marden and the book quite a bit. The food is all quite simple, the sort of recipes you want to make right away. Every time I pick up the book, I end up hungry. It’s worth checking out.


Minted Snap Peas (adapted slightly from Melia Marden)

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 fresh mint sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

In a small saucepan, heat the oil over high heat until very hot, about 2 minutes. Test the temperature by dropping in a mint leaf; if the oil is hot enough, the leaf will sizzle on contact. Drop the mint sprigs (stems included) into the oil, cook for 30 seconds, then remove the saucepan from the heat. The mint should sizzle, fry, and become crisp but not burnt. Let cool completely, then fish out and discard the mint.

Bring a large pot of water and the kosher salt to a boil. Set up an ice bath by filling a bowl with ice and cold water. Add the snap peas to the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. It’s very important not to overcook the snap peas; you want them to lose that raw taste but still be bright green and crisp. Drain and transfer to the ice bath immediately.

Drain the snap peas and divide them among four small chilled bowls. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoons of mint oil per bowl. Sprinkle with the fresh mint and sea salt and serve.

22 comments to “Minted Snap Peas”

  1. I have never been initially attracted to this “mint and peas” flavor combo that seems so popular, but perhaps I’ll give it a try with this. If I may ask—why were you initially distrustful of the cookbook, and why is it strange?

  2. Mmmm, this looks lovely for summer! I have a few handfuls of snap peas in the fridge, so I might pick up some mint try the recipe on a smaller scale.

  3. that first photo. gorgeous.

  4. Hey Erica- Strange was referring to the unchefiness of the book. I didn’t like the look of the book, which made me distrust it. Also, Marden has this kind of celebrity status (her whole family, really) that I am always distrustful of, but that is probably just a personal problem. ; ) And anyway, she seems lovely after reading the book.

  5. can’t wait to try these with cocktail hour tonight!

  6. What a perfect summer side! Fresh sugar snap peas are so good… I’ve never thought to cook them though!

  7. Love snap peas…and with minted olive oil is a great idea. Flaky salt is the icing on the cake. Yes, a great idea for a snack.

  8. Looks delish. I love the idea of fast recipes for summer. I can smell the mint-flavored oil, divine. Looking forward to trying this one!

  9. So easy, delicious and divine! Thanks for sharing :)

  10. You totally hooked me with that first picture – these look so fresh and wonderful!

  11. Mary Anne says:

    July 16th, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Confession: I saw you post a picture of these a few weeks ago on Instagram with no recipe, and I tracked down the recipe by finding Melia’s book on Amazon and using the “click to look inside” feature to get to it!! I made it and almost emailed you to thank you. SO DANG GOOD!!! After eating mass quantities of these peas by themselves I invented a whole salad to put them on. Can’t remember what all was in it now, but it involved lettuce, cherries, parmesan and lemon juice. It was amazing. Great choice!! Thank youuuu!!

  12. Mary Anne says:

    July 16th, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Also, I am feeling very similar frustration at the farmers market right now! After so many fall/winter/even spring months of faithfully cooking root vegetables and winter greens (we have good markets all winter here in Seattle–we’re lucky– but I can only eat so many apples) I am almost upset by the summer abundance now that is so fleeting!! Found out this week that strawberries are already over. WHAT?!?! So sad. Eat up.

  13. Le boyfriend is obsessed with snap peas. He will love this! And mint is the fastest growing herb on my balcony. It will be a good break from my current favorite snack: fried chickpeas. Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Time is of the essence indeed. I don’t think I saw any snap peas at the market this weekend, and my own out back are dwindling (will have to plant a double-row next year). I love the idea of these though–they’d have been perfect for snacking on on a sweltering day like this. I’ll have to remember for next year.

  15. Well this is a fabulous idea. Somehow, peas are disappointing me right now. Perhaps my expectations are too high? I’ll have to try this one on for size later this week.

  16. I’m so glad to learn that you feel the Panic, too. Now that I live further south, it’s a little less pressing, but I still feel that way about peaches and tomatoes: I must eat them ALL NOW. While I can.

  17. Love this post. It’s too hot in summer to heat the house with cooking. Here in southern France the weather does not permit to cook much! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Odd…I detest mint paired with anything, but I’m tempted to try this despite that initial kneejerk reaction of “Ew, NO!”. I love snap peas, though.

  19. I guess your site doesnt like my ipad. Your photos never appear on the browser… Such a shame..! =/
    Nice snack though!

  20. I really relate to distrust of chef cookbooks – often they’re not that useful for the home cook – too many fancy techniques and ingredients. I love mint with peas but I’ve never infused oil with mint it all looks pretty delightful and simple to me

  21. Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best, especially when it comes to fresh, sun ripened summer fruits and vegetables. Love the recipe!!!

  22. schneiderluvsdoof says:

    August 29th, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I am all for not doing much work! Also, calling salt flaky is kinda rude.

What do you think?