From the Garden: Sesame-Soy Snap Peas!

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This weekend’s Campus Community Garden Open House went off without a hitch!

Upload from July 25, 2011

The composting demo was super-informative (and not the least bit smelly);
The drum circle left a smile on everyone’s face;
The mosquitoes, well, they turned up. But so did the bug spray; 
And the food. Oh man.

The food was incredible. We feasted on marinated veggie burgers with walnut pesto, garden snap peas sauteed in sesame-soy sauce, garden lettuce with tahini-lemon dressing, and vegan raspberry-rhubarb tarts with coconut pastry cream. And get this: it was all homemade.  

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See, the Campus Gardens Coordinator’s sister - who also happens to be one of my closest friends - catered the event, and she is hands-down the best and most creative cook I know. (And I only say cook because she’d correct me if I called her a chef - a term reserved for the pros - but she’s truly that good.)

And get this: she was willing to share her fantastic fare not only with garden-goers, but with you too! 

Upload from July 25, 2011
Yesterday afternoon, she dropped by to teach me - and you! - how to make her sesame-soy snap peas. 

The secret to these guys is all in the sesame-soy sauce, which is a cinch to make and so tasty that I bet you’re going to want to keep a jar on hand at all times to use as a marinade, a stir-fry sauce, a dressing and the like. And unlike premade sauces, you can adjust the balance of flavours - savoury, salty, sweet, sour and spice! - in this one to suit your preference and your purpose. 

All thanks to my awesome friend Dayna. Thanks, thanks, thanks! 

Upload from July 25, 2011

To find out more about the University of Alberta Campus Community Garden and to get your hands on some amazing snap peas (there are lots left, I checked!):
     - Check out the Community Garden website;
     - Contact Mel, the Campus Gardens Coordinator, at ecos{@}su.ualberta.ca; and,
     - Keep an eye on this great site for amazing photos of an awesome day!

And until next time - forgive me for this one - peas out! 
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Sesame Soy Snap Peas
Makes enough for 4 as a side
 
Ingredients
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
5 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
1 tbsp flour
1/3 cup water
juice from 1/2 a lime
1.5 - 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
3 tbsp toasted seame seeds*
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger**
1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tsp packed brown sugar 
1-2 big pinches crushed chiles (optional)
1 lb fresh snap peas 

Directions

1. Heat olive and seasme oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sautee until it’s just beginning to brown. Stir in flour, allowing flour mixture to bubble briefly (30 seconds or so). Add water, lime juice and soy sauce and stir until sauce thickens slightly. Add sesame seeds, ginger, tahini, brown sugar and chiles and stir to combine, thinning with water if necessary and heating everything through (our final sauce was about the same thickness as apple sauce). Remove sauce from heat. 

Upload from July 25, 2011

2. In a clean pan, heat a few tsp of oil over medium heat. Once pan is hot, add peas and sautee just until they’ve heated through. Add in sauce, stir to combine, and sautee just until peas are evenly coated and everything is hot!

Upload from July 25, 2011

*You can buy your seeds pre-toasted or toast them in a dry pan over medium heat until they’re fragrant and golden - whatever works for you!
**To make grating a cinch, store your ginger in the freezer (it’ll last for ages, too!) and use a fine grater, like a Microplane

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