Charred Snap Peas & Mint Aioli

Charred Snap Peas 03

Exactly a year ago I was on vacation in the US. At one of our visits to a local restaurant I had charred snap peas with mint aioli as a starter and had been meaning to recreate this little gem once I was home. Finally a whole year later I managed to make it, albeit not exactly as I would have liked.

First, I don’t have a grill, so I made this under the oven grill. Which is not to say that didn’t work but my snap peas weren’t as “snappy” as they could have been, I’ve had better, crisper ones before. Taste-wise, though, they turned out very delicious, as did the onions that I sautéed on the stove first and then put under the grill.

Charred Snap Peas 02

The thing that disappointed me a little was the aioli. I had intended to make this myself, but with 40°C outside I decided against making a dish containing raw eggs. So I bought a little container, unfortunately the supermarket only had one brand left that I’d never tried before – and will not buy again. Adding the mint helped a little but in future I would save this dish for a cooler day and make the aioli myself.

Apart from that, this is something I would definitely serve guests as a starter.

I’m not giving you detailed amounts in the recipe below, because you can make as much as you want of this. I made about two handfuls of snap peas just for myself, and the little plateful in the pictures is how much it was. A lovely lunch on this hot summer day.

Charred Snap Peas 01

Charred Snap Peas & Mint Aioli

snap peas
white onion(s)
olive oil
light cane sugar
freshly ground salt
freshly ground black pepper
fresh mint
aioli [homemade or shop-bought]

Note: Prep the snap peas first, then start on the onions while peas are in the oven.

Clean snap peas, remove ends, and pour hot water over them, then leave for 2 minutes.

Drain snap peas, arrange on a baking tray or grid, add  little ground salt and olive oil, use your hands to mix it all so the snap peas are all covered – but not swimming! – in a little oil.

Put under the oven grill on 200°C / 400°F for about 15 minutes, then turn. Grill for another 5 – 10 minutes, checking their colour in-between, until they’re charred.

Peel onion(s), halve, then slice very thinly. Heat olive oil in a frying pan, add a little sugar, then sauté onions until they’re soft. Once the snap peas are out of the oven, put the onions on a baking or grill tray and grill for about 10 – 12 minutes, until they’re starting to char.

Cut up some mint and mix with the aioli.

Place snap peas on a plate, add some freshly ground salt and pepper, top with onions, and serve with mint aioli and fresh bread.

Charred Snap Peas 04