Every year, I eagerly await the opening of the farmers market near me. The winter can drag on around here, those seemingly endless days when eating locally and seasonally feels impossible, when beets and greens are the best you can do. The farmers market doesn’t open until late May, but that first Sunday when I can stroll down the street (I’m lucky enough to live just a block away) and see the vendors open for business, I feel a great sense of excitement and relief. Excitement, of course, about all the fresh food and the summer season ahead of me, but also relief, as though only this truly cements that the warm weather is here to stay (until fall, at least). Although this market has great meats, cheeses, and baked goods, I always beeline first for the produce. Without a plan in mind, I was seduced by a pint of sugar snap peas, fresh from the vine and extra sweet. I knew I wanted something simple (and almost just ate them plain), to focus on the flavor of the peas themselves, and this pickle recipe was perfect. The sugar snap peas are the star of the show, their crisp sweetness complemented by the acidity of vinegar and flavored with garlic and chiles. I tasted them 24 hours after pickling and immediately regretted not having bought more sugar snap peas (I highly recommend doing the full recipe posted here – my batch was only about half). They’re the perfect little springtime snack.
Pickled Sugar Snap Peas (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Yield: 1 quart
- 1 1/4 cups white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups cold water
- 1 lb sugar snap peas, stems trimmed and strings removed
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 – 2 small dried chile peppers, slit lengthwise*
*Or omit entirely if you are spice averse.
- In a nonreactive saucepan, combine 1 1/4 cups white vinegar, 1 Tbsp kosher salt, and 1 Tbsp granulated sugar, and heat over medium heat until dissolved.
- Remove from heat, and add 1 1/4 cups cold water. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a 1-quart jar (or multiple smaller jars), pack 1 lb sugar snap peas, stems trimmed and strings removed along with 4 garlic cloves, sliced and 1 – 2 small dried chile peppers, slit lengthwise.
- When the vinegar mixture is close to room temperature, pour over the packed sugar snap peas, then seal the jar with a non-reactive cap.
- Store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, and ideally 2 weeks, before eating.