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A beautiful failure

Posted by Jeanne on June 11, 2010

I bought two pounds of sugar snap peas at Costco, and now they must be used.  Unfortunately, things went a bit awry.  It’s like that scene in Top Chef in the stew room when one of the chefs says, “Now I know what I did wrong. I forgot to add FLAVOR!”

Pea salad with tarragon vinaigrette, inspired by this recipe published in Health Magazine, June 2009

2 TB white wine vinegar

2 TB plain yogurt

1 TB olive oil

1 tsp. honey

2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon

0.75 C frozen peas

2 lbs. sugar snap peas, trimmed

4 cups salad greens

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Whisk together the white wine vinegar and the next 4 ingredients (through tarragon) in a large bowl; set aside.

2. Add the sugar snap peas and frozen pees to the pot, and cook 3 to 4 minutes until tender-crisp. Drain and rinse under cold running water until no longer warm.  Pat dry with a towel.

3. Add the mixed salad greens to the bowl with the dressing. Add the peas and toss gently to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

So.  See?  Beautiful.  And bland, dull, flat, boring.  Also a ton of it.  Which is now compost.  D’oh.

What would I do differently next time?  I don’t love the yogurt in the dressing.  I think I would make a more traditional vinaigrette, and make it the way I usually do – lots of garlic and salt & pepper and Dijon mustard.

I remember thinking “there isn’t much to this dressing” and plowing forward anyway.  D’oh.  The most important kitchen tool is a brain and I checked mine at the door when I made this dish.Making a dish that is a flop isn’t a moral failure – it is INCREDIBLY ANNOYING and a great waste of ingredients and time.

But it’s also an opportunity to advertise to the entire internets that you failed at something – and to figure out WHY.

At least the pictures are pretty?  Next time must use brain as well as whisk.

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