STIR-FRIED SNAP PEAS from Signs & Seasons
Open sesame! The origin of the magical command comes from the perception that sesame plants grew near hidden treasures and concealed doorways. The sealed and sacred was opened with the right incantation. There is magic in words. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, the Roman counterpart of the Greek god, Hermes. Although Mercury is associated with conscious communicative ability, he has access to the subconscious realms and can bring us messages from deep within. The word hermetic, derived from Hermes, denotes something sealed, not for general consumption, open only to those who know the formula. Similarly, a recipe is a formula. Here is a simple preparation for a spring-harvest favorite. It can be made in a snap. In this formula, the secret is in the surface. “Open sesame” is not needed for a pea with an edible pod. And Gemini, you like to have alternatives. The formula changes from Chinese to Italian by using olive oil instead of sesame oil, pine nuts instead of sesame seeds and finishing with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar instead of a dash or two of soy sauce. Will serve 6. 1 pound snap peas, stems and strings discarded 3 tablespoons oil, sesame or olive 2 garlic cloves, minced ¾ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted (page reference toasted seeds and nuts) soy sauce or balsamic vinegar Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and sauté briefly to infuse. Don’t let the oil smoke. Add the snap peas and the salt and stir-fry until the pods are crisp-tender. Test one after 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Mix in the seeds or nuts. Transfer to a serving bowl and dress with soy or balsamic.
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