This salad was a lot of fun to eat. It's full of bold flavor from generous amounts of garlic and mint, and crispy textures, from freshly made croutons and baby snow peas. As soon as I saw the recipe in Margaux Sky's Beautiful Breads and Fabulous Fillings, I was smitten. I love any excuse to make croutons. They're good to have on hand for soups and salads. I usually freeze them for future use, if I can keep from snacking on them. There's a good bit of mint in this dish, which makes it perfect for Weekend Herb Blogging, the brainchild of Kalyn at Kalyn's Kitchen. This week WHB is being hosted by Scott at Real Epicurean. You will do yourself a big favor if you go over to Scott's this weekend and check out the efforts of the other herby bloggers.
When the weather is warmer, I have lots of mint running amuck in my yard. But, being a great opportunist, it's wandered off to a warmer climate, I think, because there's none to be seen. Fortunately, I can get beautiful bunches of it in the grocery store. Mint is such a wonderful herb. It's lovely to look at, almost like a little wedding bouquet. And there are so many ways it can be used, from flavoring beverages, or in sweet or savory dishes. This recipes calls for using 1/2 cup, and I wouldn't stint on it.
To make this dish really work, try making your own croutons. You can easily use storebought versions, but they won't be as good. I like to make croutons from different varieties of bread, that I've saved in the freezer. For this recipe I used whole wheat and sourdough bread.
The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of garlic, but you can reduce that amount if you wish. I used the full amount and it was great! Brown the garlic slowly and don't let it burn. Remember that the garlic will continue to brown, even after it reaches the color you desire.
Baby Snow Peas With Garlic, Mint, And Croutons (Margaux Sky Beautiful Breads)
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1/2 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup minced mint
1 cup croutons, preferably homemade
3-4 cups baby snow peas
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mint and the garlic and cook until the garlic begins to brown. Add the croutons and cook until they are heated through. Do not let garlic burn! Then add the snow peas and cook until they are heated through. Do not overcook them. Mix everything very well and serve.
4 cups diced bread
1/4 cup olive oil
seasoned pepper and salt to taste )optional)
3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix together the bread, seasonings and garlic. Drizzle the oil on it and mix until bread is well coated. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until the bread is crispy.
Cool and store in an air tight container.