It’s not just the unusual combination of fruit and vegetables in this the strawberry and snap peas salad that makes this dish so unique, it’s the dressing. Which isn’t so much a vinaigrette in the traditional sense as it is a rustically chopped relish made with oil-cured black olives and spicy Calabrian chiles from Southern Italy.
I got a jar of seeded, chopped Calabrian chiles in oil at Williams-Sonoma.
- ½ cup pitted, chopped cured black olives
- 2 tablespoon seeded, chopped Calabrian chiles in oil (or more to taste)
- ⅓ cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (plus more for water)
- 6 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pound snap peas (halved crosswise on a bias)
- 2 cup sliced strawberries (about 12 oz or 1 pint)
- 12 fresh mint leaves (very thinly sliced crosswise)
- 4 ounce crumbled farmers cheese (such as queso fresco or or other fresh, mild skim milk cheese)
- ¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts
- 1 cup loosely packed baby arugula leaves
- sea salt (to taste)
To make the relish: In a medium bowl mix olives, chiles, vinegar and salt. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified. Set aside.
To prep the snap peas: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and set up a large ice water bath.
Add the snap peas to the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender and bright green, about 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to the ice water bath until completely cooled. Drain and dry well.
To make the salad: Arrange snap peas on a large serving platter and scatter strawberries on top. Scoop several heaping tablespoons of the prepared Calabrian chile and olive relish on top. Make sure to distribute the chiles and olives evenly over the salad and include enough of the liquid to moderately dress the salad. Sprinkle with mint, farmers cheese, and pine nuts. Top with baby arugula leaves and season to taste with sea salt. Pass any leftover relish at the table.
The salad may be refrigerated for an hour before serving.