Snow Pea Shoot-Cranberry Salad with Crispy Rice & Spicy Pecan Dressing

Photo and recipe by Valentina Kenney Wein, Cooking on the Weekends

This colorful, festive salad is the perfect centerpiece for a special event or holiday meal table – and your vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free guests will thank you for it! Snow pea shoots, with their beautiful, lacy and delicate tendrils, have soft leaves that are reminiscent of both peas and spinach. This is a lovely side dish, but it’s also hearty enough to hold its own as a main course.
Serves: 4

Prep Time

0-30mins

Ingredients

For the Salad 

1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup cooked brown rice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Navel oranges
1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 (5-ounce) package Jade Asian Greens Snow Pea Shoots (Dau Miu), torn into bite-sized pieces

 For the Dressing

1/4 cup finely chopped raw pecans
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice (from oranges used in the salad)
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon Asian chili paste (such as Sambal Oelek or something similar)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil 

Preparation

For the salad 

To make the crispy rice: Line the inside of a small bowl with a paper towel and set it aside. Add the oil to a small saucepot and place it over high heat. Once it’s hot, add the cooked rice and stir. Let it fry until it’s crispy, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove it from the oil and place it in the towel-lined bowl. Once the oil has drained a bit, remove the towel and add the pinch of cayenne, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and mix. Set aside. 

To prepare the oranges: Slice about 1/2-inch off both ends of the oranges.  Then, standing the oranges on one of their bases, use a paring knife to carefully cut between the pith and flesh, moving the knife downwards and following the curve of the fruit. Continue this all the way around the oranges. To remove the segments, cut into each one, just inside its membrane. When you’re done removing the segments, you’ll be left with some of the flesh still attached to the membranes. Do not throw this away, as it will be used in the dressing. Add the orange segments to a large mixing or serving bowl. 

Combine the salad: Add the shallots, cranberries, crispy rice and the snow pea shoots to the bowl with the oranges, and gently toss all of the ingredients together. 

For the dressing

Add the pecans to a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Stirring a bit, cook until they’re very aromatic and becoming golden, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Squeeze 2 tablespoons of orange juice from the saved orange membranes, over the pecans in the pan. Add the vinegar, honey, chili paste and salt and stir to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil and then turn the heat to medium. Once it’s simmering a bit, after about a minute, pour it evenly over the salad mixture. (The warm dressing should slightly wilt the greens.)

Toss the salad and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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