Tanya Siebenaler wants to spice up your life. As the executive chef and co-owner of Sapor in Minneapolis, she has made a name for herself creating dishes that use exotic spices and foreign techniques to make fresh local ingredients sing. Despite these spicy accents though, her dishes always seem homey, comforting, and familiar.
This is because many of Siebenaler’s offerings are based on peasant and street food from around the globe. Many of her dishes are really Midwestern-friendly meat and potatoes with an Indian, Latin, French, or even Middle Eastern kick. “I often have people say that my food reminds them of when they were traveling somewhere else in the world,” Siebenaler says.
While she certainly has a flair for spice, she also understands that when springtime comes, it’s sometimes best to let ingredients speak for themselves. For this month’s recipe, Siebenaler created a simple salad that celebrates her favorite springtime treat: sweet peas. “I think they’re the perfect spring vegetable. They arrive just when things are starting to turn green and the weather is still cool, but they’re nice and sweet.”
Pea, Radish, and Arugula Salad
1 cup shell peas
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup soybean oil
1-2 sprigs thyme leaves
1 bunch arugula
2-3 radishes, sliced thinly
Blanch peas in a large pot of boiling, salty water. Cook until just done, then strain. For the dressing, combine buttermilk and lemon juice in blender. Slowly drizzle in oil. Add thyme, salt, and pepper to taste. In a separate bowl, combine arugula, peas, and radishes. Toss with dressing.