“Everyone adds nuts to salad, but I wanted to do something different,” says Justin Smillie. He tops crisp snap peas with a savory granola that includes pine nuts and kasha. Ricotta adds another layer of texture; Smillie makes his own cheese at the restaurant, but good-quality store-bought fresh ricotta is also delicious.
Slideshow:Salads with Grains
Recipe from Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks
2 1/4 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup kasha (roasted buckwheat groats)
1/2 cup flaxseeds
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 pound sugar snap peas
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Maldon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
Chopped mint, for garnish
How to Make It
Step 1 make the granola
Preheat the oven to 325° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the oats with the kasha, flaxseeds and pine nuts. Add the remaining granola ingredients and toss until thoroughly coated, then spread on the prepared baking sheet.
Step 2 make the granola
Bake the granola in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden and nearly dry. Turn off the oven and prop the door open halfway; let the granola cool in the oven, stirring occasionally.
Step 3 make the salad
In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, simmer the snap peas until bright green and crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain and cool the snap peas under running water, pat dry and halve them lengthwise. In a medium bowl, toss the snap peas with the lemon juice and 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, then season with Maldon sea salt and pepper.
Step 4 make the salad
In another medium bowl, whisk the ricotta until smooth and season with kosher salt and pepper. Spoon the ricotta onto plates and top with the snap peas. Sprinkle some of the granola on the peas and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped mint. Serve right away.
This recipe makes 5 cups of granola, which can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
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