Tia Keenan’s new cookbook Chèvre proves that the goat’s milk cheese is so much more than the pallid log on your cheese board or the chalky medallion on a passé beet salad. The proof: sugar snap pea salad with chèvre ranch. The cheese is whirled into an irresistibly tangy dressing and crumbled on top. Who wants seconds?
1 pound sugar snap peas, cleaned and trimmed
⅓ cup goat’s milk
⅓ cup goat’s milk yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
6 ounces chèvre, at room temperature, crumbled, divided
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and then with enough cold water to cover the ice. Have a large slotted spoon at the ready. Cook the sugar snap peas in the boiling water until they’re bright green and softened just a bit, about 2 minutes. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the sugar snap peas to the ice water to cool completely, then drain them on paper towels until you’re ready to dress them.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the milk, yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt, paprika and 4 ounces of the chèvre; process until completely smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl, scraping the bottom of the food processor bowl in case any chèvre has stubbornly coagulated there. Stir in the garlic, shallot, chives, parsley and dill. Season to taste with the Tabasco and pepper. Add more salt if needed.
3. In a large bowl, toss the sugar snap peas in the dressing so they’re completely coated. Sprinkle the remaining 2 ounces of chèvre over the salad and then turn it out onto a platter to serve.