We occasionally get some sugarsnap peas from the polytunnel to the kitchen (if the kids don’t eat them in situ first). This is an Emily Han recipe, and it combines two great seasonal ingredients (the other being green garlic) with more filling barley to make a lovely light lunch or supper. Serves 4-6.
Cook and cool barley: Combine barley and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until tender but still with a bit of bite, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to cool completely.
Make green garlic sauce: Blend green garlic, almonds, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor or blender until smooth. If the mixture is very thick or dry, mix in 1-2 tablespoons of water.
Blanch sugar snap peas: Have ready a large bowl of ice water, a slotted spoon, and a plate lined with a cloth or paper towel. Bring a pan of water to boil over high heat. Add a tablespoon of salt and the snap peas and boil just until bright green and crisp, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Quickly remove the snap peas with a slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice bath. When the peas are completely cool, remove them from the ice bath and drain on the towel-lined plate. Cut the snap peas lengthwise on the diagonal.
Assemble salad: In a large bowl, combine barley and green garlic sauce. Then mix in snap peas and mint. Season to taste and serve immediately or keep covered in the refrigerator.