Spinach, new potato and sugar snap pea salad

It’s nearly a year since we moved into our lovely home in the Devon countryside. Time certainly flies as it only seems like yesterday when we arrived with all of our ‘stuff’ packed in the campervan. We’ve certainly filled the house since then!

There’s something rather wonderful about living here. The house sits in the middle of the plot and is surrounded by a well-loved established garden and countryside. Being a single-story home (ok, a bungalow 😉) every window has a wonderful view of flowers, trees or fields. I feel so fortunate to be here.

One feature of the garden that got me really excited was the greenhouse – I’ve never had one before but always yearned to. The elderly couple who lived here before us had covered their vegetable patch a long time ago as it became too much work for them. So the first job my long-suffering husband had was to build me some raised beds so I could get growing. He did a great job. I was so impatient for Spring to come!

As we live near an amazing farm shop that grows lots of root vegetables, I decided against potatoes and parsnips, and soon gave up on carrots after my tentative seedlings disappeared over night – some hungry bug had a feast! Other crops have been very successful though including broad beans, lettuce, spinach, radishes, mange tout and sugar snap peas. The last two have been amazing! So sweet, crisp and just delightful, I’d forgotten how delicious they can be. When bought in the supermarket they have often flown halfway across the world losing their vibrancy and crunch on the way.

Plump sugar snap peas provide more than just texture and flavour. Soluble and insoluble fibre make them good for gut health. They also contain folate, calcium and potassium which is good for blood pressure. Being vibrant green, they also provide anti-inflammatory phytonutrients including leutin and zeaxanthin, both of which support eye health. Vitamin C, another strong anti-inflammatory compound, features in good amounts too. Matching these crunchy pods alongside spinach, an anti-inflammatory powerhouse in it’s own right, and you have a plateful of green goodness that’s a delight to eat.

New potatoes bring their own nutritional benefits, not just calories. The thin delicate skin is easy to clean. Peeling removes most of the nutrient benefits; with new potatoes, a light scrub is usually all that’s needed before cooking. Potatoes contain some fibre in the skin along with a selection of B vitamins, lots of potassium and, surprisingly, some vitamin C. Some of this is lost in cooking; keeping the skin on reduces the amount though.

If you have to avoid potatoes for health reasons, or you just don’t fancy them, just sub with a different type of bean like broad bean or even tinned cooked white beans. And if you don’t have sugar snap peas, other beans or peas like mange tout work just as well. In fact, this salad can be adapted to whatever is in season throughout the summer months so feel free to swap the type of leaves, beans or potatoes. The recipe is just a guide.

The other ingredient you may wish to sub or even remove completely is the red onion. Many people cannot tolerate raw onion due to painful indigestion. The strong pre-biotic fibres can also irritate the guts of people with IBS or SIBO. If this is you, then feel free to sub with spring onion or just leave it out. Alternatively, soak the onion in the lemon dressing for an hour or so before building the salad. This can help soften the fibres and reduce negative side effects. If that works for you then do try to keep it in the salad as it provides another texture and sulphury flavour that adds to the overall deliciousness.

What I do suggest you definitely keep is the lovely sharp lemon herby dressing. Apart from tasting delicious, the lemon helps increase plant sourced iron bioavailability ie: can be more readily absorbed into the body. Fresh herbs bring the dressing to life; use whatever you have to hand.

The recipe creates a decent side salad for 4 or 2 huge platefuls as a main. Add some tofu ‘feta’ or extra beans or lentils to add some extra plant protein if desired. I hope you enjoy this tasty, filling salad as much as I do. Do let me know what you think.

Spinach, new potato and sugar snap pea salad

A super tasty seasonal salad with a delicious lemon dressing. Can be adapted to suit seasonal produce.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Salad
Servings 4 side salad portions

Ingredients
  

  • 250 grams new potatoes scrubbed but not peeled
  • 200 grams sugar snap peas or mange tout/green beans
  • 30 grams red onion thinly sliced
  • 50 grams baby leaf spinach washed and dried
  • 8 tbsp lemon herby dressing see below for link

To serve

  • 10 grams roughly chopped pistachios or hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp fresh chives or herb of choice

Instructions
 

  • Cut any larger new potatoes into equal size. Pop in a pan of boiling water or steamer basket and cook for 10-15 minutes until just soft when pricked with a knife. Drain and leave to cool in the colander.
  • Make the lemon dressing (if you don't have any in the fridge) and pour 8 tablespoons into a small bowl. Add the red onion to soak for a few minutes whilst the potatoes are cooking.
  • Prepare the sugar snap peas by trimming the ends and peeling of any tough bits. Slice in half.
  • Grab a large bowl. Tear the spinach into smallish pieces and scatter onto the bottom of the bowl. Add half the prepared mange tout and half the red onion.
  • Cut the potatoes into bite-sized chunks and scatter into the bowl.
  • Add the remaining sugar snap peas and red onion to the bowl. Drizzle on the dressing. Scatter pistachios and fresh herbs over the top and serve straight away.

Notes

Lemon herby dressing link - here
Keyword anti-inflammatory diet, healthy salad, OMS friendly, seasonal eating, sugar snap

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