Farm-to-table dining at Agricola, chef Josh Thomsen's new restaurant in Princeton, New Jersey, is more than a catchphrase. The restaurant has its own 112-acre organic farm, which grows over 120 varieties of vegetables. Great Road Farm, from which Thomsen sources much of his produce and eggs, is just four miles from the kitchen, and the farm's weekly harvest dictates much of the menu. When snap peas make a showing, Thomsen quick-cooks them, then tosses the still-crunchy peas with turnips, preserved lemon, fresh mint and a perky Champagne vinaigrette. Should you not have access to a nearby farm, not to worry: Your local farmers' market (or grocery store) is an equally valuable resource.
Snap Peas, Turnips, Mint & Preserved Lemon
Recipe adapted from Josh Thomsen, Agricola, Princeton, NJ
Yield: 4 servings
Cook Time: 5 minutes
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
4 small turnips (about ¾ pound), peeled and sliced into ¾-inch-thick wedges
4 cups sugar snap peas (about 1 pound), vine end trimmed
¼ small shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 preserved lemon--halved, flesh scooped out and discarded, and rind thinly sliced into strips
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. To a large bowl, add ice and water and set aside. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of the sea salt and the turnips and simmer for 1 minute. Add the snap peas and cook until both the turnips and the peas are crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain the turnips and the snap peas in a colander and immediately transfer them to the ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Once the vegetables are chilled, after about 2 minutes, drain, then transfer the vegetables to a kitchen-towel-lined sheet pan to drain further.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add the shallot, lemon juice and Champagne vinegar. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the vinaigrette is thick, creamy and emulsified.
3. To the vinaigrette, add the cooked turnips, snap peas, preserved lemon, mint, the remaining 1 teaspoon of sea salt and the ground black pepper. Stir to coat with the vinaigrette and serve.
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