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Lágrimas, snap pea salad

Lagrimas, ©DPaul Brown

Last week I took a brief trip to New York. One of my mother’s cards had been nominated for a Louie Award at the Greeting Card Association‘s annual event, and since the whole raison d’être of her business stems from having a gay son, she wanted me with her at the ceremony. Sadly, she didn’t win (frankly, the sentiment in the card she lost to is of questionable taste), but she still found value in attending the Stationery Show and connecting with peers in the industry.

While she was doing so, I used that time to do some connecting of my own. I shopped and sushied with my dear old friend Christine and brunched with my friend Ramona at the fabulous new B.E.S. I got to see the lovely Shuna, who opened her arms to me as a fledgling blogger four years nigh, and whom I’ve missed dearly since she relocated to London and New York. I enjoyed coffee and conversation with Lisa, who I met only fleetingly at BlogHer Food last year. And I finally met the inimitable and affable David Leite over quiche (him) and chocolate bouchons (me). All this in two days, including the awards ceremony.

It was definitely a whirlwind, and I often found myself hustling to get from one rendez-vous to another, but I did deliberately leave myself one opening. My flight arrived on Saturday at 4 pm, and I had nothing planned for the remainder of the afternoon until my mother arrived that evening. 

New York was balmy and gently breezy, and I reveled in the summerlike weather as I meandered the streets of Chelsea. After a couple hours of aimless wandering, I began to set my sights on dinner. When the occasion warrants, I rather like dining out alone, and a tapas bar is optimal for that. Sitting alone at a two-top is sad, like dining with an imaginary friend. But sidling up to a bar, ordering a glass of spicy red and eyeing the sardines and cheeses? That’s liberating.

So it was that I ended up at Boquería. First up I had a crisp duck croqueta and some lovely piquant sardine toasts, then followed up with pork belly pintxos and a salad called lágrimas — “tears.” The pork belly was cubed, dusted with paprika, wrapped in a wilted green, skewered and grilled until succulent. The salad, bright and fresh and crisp, made a flawless foil to the richness of those fatty blocks. It immediately became my New Favorite Salad, and I vowed to make it as soon as I got home. I did, and quite a few times since then already.

As for the name, I can only assume it’s because the sliced pea pods look like eyes, and the peas themselves seem to tumble out like tears. But there is nothing sad about this salad. They must be tears of joy and gratitude for the bounty of spring that is finally upon us.

Lágrimas
Adapted from Boquería, New York

This is a pretty straightforward salad, so to try to go so far as a
formal recipe would be a touch overkill, no? Let me put it in suitably
imprecise terms, and you can tailor it to your taste. Most importantly,
use a light hand. All the ingredients should be in service of the fresh sweetness of the peas. Savor the peaness. Wait, that came
out wrong.

A fistful of fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed and thinly cut on a slight bias
A couple radishes, shaved thin
A wad of mint leaves, cut into a fine chiffonade
Several small dollops of creamy chêvre
A few shakes of rice wine vinegar
A healthy drizzle of peppery extra-virgin olive oil
A pinch of salt
A good crack of black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss gently.

Related:

Feeding Groom has a salad very much like this one, but with ricotta salata.

East Village Kitchen makes a lovely spicy snap pea slaw.

Ben the Single Guy paid a visit to the Soho branch of Boqueria.

Snap Peas on FoodistaSnap Peas

This Post Has 19 Comments
  1. How fun your mother was nominated! Congrats to her. And your whirlwind visit to the Big Apple sounds fabulous- especially the wandering around Chelsea part. Not to mention- the snap pea salad looks gorgeous. xox

  2. Karri, walking around Chelsea on two and a half gorgeous summery days made me miss New York all over again. Not enough to get serious about moving there, but definitely enough to want to go back very, very soon.

  3. Wow, you did squeeze in a lot for just two days! And I love Boqueria. I went to the one in Soho and enjoyed eating at the bar and chatting with the bartender. The salad sounds great and I saw some sugar snap peas at the market this past weekend. I’m going to try this soon!

  4. What a lovely looking salad. I bet it would come together in a snap, especially if you pulled out the good ol’ mandoline for all of the shaving of radishes and thin cutting of snap peas. Looks tasty!

  5. I definitely used a mandoline for the radishes, but cut the peas by hand; I think they might be too fine otherwise. But it's worth a try!

  6. Thanks for reconstructing the recipe. I tried the salad last Sunday and it will be come a regular for me during snap pea season. Since I didn’t have creamy chêvre on hand, I substituted some mild French feta and had good results (mint, peas and feta are a great combination too).

  7. It's funny you say that, because I had considered feta as a good alternative, or even queso fresco. Something light but rich enough to offset the crispness of the peas.

  8. We made this last night — in a word, yum. We used sherry vinegar and a goat-cow hybrid cheese (Andante’s Rondo) which was fabulous.
    We did shed a few tears, as it was the last of our homegrown sugar-snaps. A new crop is already in the ground, but we’ll have to endure many weeks sans-peaness.

  9. I got Sugar Snaps at the Farmers Market yesterday and made this today. I went light on the chevre and will use a bit more next time, but this is soooo good.
    I forgot to bookmark the recipe when I first saw it on Tastespotting, and I’m so glad I found it again!

  10. What a great trip! Sounds like a delight and congrats to your mom! Your visit makes me want to book a flight to see my mom in the City.
    Love this salad and can’t wait to try it. Also, want to head over to Boquería next time I am up there! 😉

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