With vibrant, bright, and fresh flavors, this Whipped Feta and Sugar Snap Pea dish is the perfect appetizer to serve at any party. The simplicity and elegance of this dish allow the ingredients to shine while giving you time to pull together the rest of your meal.
Why Sugar Snap Peas?
Sugar snap peas are incredible because they don’t require much to make them sing. Naturally sweet and crunchy, with a quick blanching, they transform into bright green pods that are perfectly tender whilst maintaining their signature crunch. And paired with a bright lemony, shallot dressing, they can really carry almost any dish.
Feta is an extremely adaptable cheese. You can serve it warm, with warmed olives. You can blend it up into a creamy dip. You can crumble it and add it to a salad. Or you can slice it and serve it topped with perfectly blanched sugar snap peas that have been tossed in a light, bright lemony dressing. My suggestion is to always get feta in brine versus pre-crumbled feta. You will find infinite uses for feta in brine, whereas pre-crumbled feta only has a few.
What does Feta taste like?
This is a loaded question as Feta will vary in flavor, texture, and even the types of milk it’s made with based on what type of Feta it is. There’s Greek feta, which I find is often defined by its rich yet tangy and definitely briny flavor and creamy yet crumbly texture. It’s traditionally made with sheep’s milk. But there are many varieties of Feta like French Feta, US Feta, Israeli Feta, and more and they all have their own distinct textures and flavors as well as ingredients. My best advice is to try different types to find your favorite.
How to Make Feta and Sugar Snap Peas
- Blanch your sugar snap peas in salted water for a minute and then transfer them to an ice bath of salted water. Let it sit for 5 minutes to stop the cooking, then pat them dry.
- Make a lemony dressing with lemon juice, shallot, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, and honey.
- To a food processor add feta, cream cheese, olive oil, warm water, and lemon juice. Pulse it all together a few times then process until it’s super smooth. Spread it in a bowl.
- Trim and slice peas on the bias and then toss them in the lemony dressing with some mint. Finish it with some lemon zest, flaky salt, and pepper. Serve with some toasty crusty bread.
Tips and Tricks:
- A salad spinner is your best friend. It makes quick work of the blanching and drying process.
- I find it easiest to trim the peas while I slice them, but if you prefer, you can trim them before you blanch them.
- Blanching time is important in this recipe. One minute is the optimal time, as it yields bright green, perfectly tenderized, yet crunchy sugar snap peas. If anything you can go under the blanching time, but don’t blanch for longer than a minute as the sugar snap peas cook quickly!
- Serving immediately is important because as the dish continues to sit, the lemon marinates the peas and they start to lose their brightness.
If you make this Whipped Feta and Sugar Snap Peas, let me know on Instagram!
Looking for more recipes to serve with this? Here are a few:
Whipped Feta and Sugar Snap Peas
- 8 ounces (roughly 2 ½ cups) sugar snap peas
- 2 tablespoons salt plus more for seasoning
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon of zest and 4 tablespoons of juice, divided)
- 1 small shallot peeled and finely minced
- 1 small garlic clove peeled and finely grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 8- ounce block feta in brine
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 2 sprigs of mint torn
- Toasted crusty bread for serving
- Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover all your snap peas and bring it to a boil. Prepare an ice bath using a salad spinner. Place the ice in the bottom portion of the salad spinner, below the colander, and place the colander above the ice. Fill the vessel with enough water to cover the snap peas. Sprinkle a tablespoon of salt into the water. When the water is boiling, add a tablespoon of salt and drop all the peas in and blanch for 1 minute. Immediately transfer the peas to the ice bath. Let them sit for 5 minutes to stop the cooking and to chill the peas. Strain out all the water from the salad spinner and toss out the ice. Give the peas a quick spin in the spinner before transferring them to a clean kitchen towel to pat them dry.
- While the snap peas are cooling, in a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, shallot, garlic, and a pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes. Then whisk in the olive oil, mustard, and honey.
- To a food processor, add the feta, cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Pulse a few times to break up the feta further, then stream in the warm water and process for a minute or two, or until it’s very smooth. Transfer to a bowl, smoothing on the bottom with lots of swoops.
- Trim the ends of the peas and slice each pea on the bias, into long slivers. Toss all the sliced peas and the torn mint into the lemon dressing and give it a quick toss. Spoon it onto the whipped feta, drizzling the dressing all over. Finish the dish with lemon zest, some flaky salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Serve immediately with toasted crusty bread.