so, today’s post could go one of two ways: option one, i could gush over how good these sugar snap peas with garlic scapes and basil are. and that would be true and honest. they really are very good.
but it wouldn’t be the whole story.
so i think we’re going to (well, *i’m* going to; you can skip to the recipe at the bottom and my feelings won’t be hurt, i promise) go with option two.
option two goes like this: these sugar snap peas with garlic scapes and basil are delicious and also my heart is breaking for one of my dearest friends and her husband who are facing the worst thing a parent has to face. their 3-year-old is in the ICU after a terrible accident and, as she so gracefully put it, she and her husband are, “worried that the next several decisions will be (their) last parenting decisions for him.”
out of respect for my friend, her son, and their family, i won’t go into details but i don’t think details are necessary to send a little positive energy, a prayer, or some love out into the world. so whether you direct it to this little boy, someone in your own life, or a stranger that you pass today, i hope you’ll take a moment to spread a little love and light today.
(::aaaand here’s the clunky transition to talking about food for a minute::)
one way that i’ve both spread and received love is through food. from the cookies i received years ago when someone in my family was facing cancer to the i-know-you-like-cardamom-and-i-was-thinking-about-you-so-here-are-some-scones that i left on a friend’s porch, food helps us connect and demonstrate our caring in a tangible way.
it also gives us a way to connect the disparate circles in our lives and draw everyone a little bit closer to us. i created this recipe for the family party that i catered recently (shhh, do as i say, not as i do, when it comes to new recipes and cooking for large groups. i had faith that sugar snap peas + garlic scapes + basil was going to just work. luckily i was right!) and i’m planning to bring it to a friend’s house this weekend for dinner.
my relatives haven’t met this friend but now they’ll all be linked more closely in my head and heart when i think about how i shared this recipe with both of them.
and while i’m preparing the sugar snap peas this weekend, i’ll be thinking about my friend and her little boy and how she likes sugar snap peas and how i look forward to sharing this dish, and a hug, with her at some point in the future. because for me, food is woven through my happiest memories and stands as a bright spot in dark times, reminding me that we are all connected, that we are not alone.
in closing, i always wonder if i “should” share things like this, here, in this space ostensibly dedicated to food and recipes and pretty pictures. but then i remind myself that this is my little corner of the internet and if i can’t be authentic here, then i don’t really want to be in this space anyway (and also, what have i created??). so thank you for sitting with me in this little pocket of the internet where we can be our real selves, our whole selves, which in my case right now means liking sugar snap peas with garlic scapes and basil and also having a broken heart.
pairs well with:
if you have leftover garlic scapes or want to make a garlic scape-themed dinner, this creamy pasta with chicken and garlic scapes would be a yummy choice. alternatively, this corn pesto pasta is my favorite thing to eat in late july/august, when corn is so fresh, and the pine nuts and basil in both dishes would tie them together beautifully.
- 1/3 cup (47 g. / 1 5/8 oz.) pine nuts
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 16 oz. (454 g.) sugar snap peas, cut in half
- 2 garlic scapes, cut into 1” (2.5 cm) pieces, see notes
- 2 tablespoons water (measure out both tablespoons into a little cup in advance)
- zest of half a lemon (2 teaspoons zest)
- ¼ cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons
- set a large (12” / 30.5 cm) skillet with a lid (you’ll use it again to cook the peas and need it to be large and have a lid) over medium heat. add the pine nuts to the dry pan and stir frequently until lightly browned (don’t use the lid yet). this takes 5 – 10 minutes but keep the nuts in sight as they can burn quickly. transfer the pine nuts to a little bowl.
- set the empty skillet back on the burner and heat the oil over medium heat; have the lid handy. once the oil is hot, add the sugar snap peas, garlic scapes, and the water (add both tablespoons of water at once) and quickly put the lid on the skillet to trap the steam that is created. cook covered for 2 minutes, then uncover and cook for about 2 more minutes, stirring frequently, until the sugar snap peas are crisp tender and the water has evaporated.
- transfer the sugar snap peas to a serving bowl and toss with the pine nuts, lemon zest, and basil. toss gently and serve immediately. leftovers keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days, though the sugar snap peas may not be as snappy (crisp) and the basil may darken.
adapted from my sesame ginger sugar snap peas.
garlic scapes are a farmers’ market goodie this time of year. if you can’t find them, you can substitute in 1 minced garlic clove, added during the last 30 seconds of cooking.
make ahead: make as directed up to 1 day in advance, but wait until the last minute to cut and add the basil so that it doesn’t darken.
feeding a crowd: if making more than 1 batch at a time, you don't need quite as much water to steam the snap peas, since they will be more crowded in the pan and less water will evaporate - use about 80% as much water as would be called for.