Snap Pea Salad With Mint and Tahini-Harissa Dressing Recipe

J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • Blanching gives the snap peas a crisp texture, bright green color, and sweet flavor.
  • Blending the garlic directly with lemon juice helps tame its harsh bite.

Sweet snap peas and mint is a classic combination that lends itself well to variation. Here we riff on it by adding yogurt and a couple other flavorful ingredients like tahini and harissa. It's light yet rich, cooling yet spicy.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 20 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound (450g) snap peas, ends and strings pulled off
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons (15ml) juice and 1 teaspoon (2g) grated zest from 1 lemon, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) sesame tahini
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30ml) harissa paste, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced (about 1/2 ounce; 15g)
  • 12 mint leaves, finely minced
  • Piment d'espelette, crushed Aleppo chilies, gochugaru (Korean chili flakes), or other crushed red pepper flakes, for serving


  1. Bring a large saucepan of heavily salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Add snap peas and boil until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or mesh strainer, transfer snap peas to ice bath to chill.

  2. Combine garlic and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a mini chopper or blender. Blend until garlic is finely minced. Add tahini, yogurt, harissa, and 1 tablespoon olive oil and blend to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  3. Whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, lemon zest, shallot, mint, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl. Drain snap peas and dry carefully in a salad spinner or on a paper towel-lined tray. Add to bowl with dressing and toss thoroughly to coat. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with harissa-tahini sauce. Sprinkle with chili flakes. Serve immediately.

Special equipment

Blender, hand blender, or mini chopper

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