Grilled snap pea salad with onions and mint √

Serves 4.

Note: The combination of mint and peas is a culinary gift. This salad relies on the beauty of that pairing, with onion thrown in for a little texture and spice. Grilled snap peas are highly addictive, as a smoky-charred bitterness is matched with their sweet crunch, and who doesn't love smoky-salty-crunchy-sweet-sweet-goodness? From "Where There's Smoke," by Barton Seaver (Sterling Epicure, $30). If you're using a gas grill, reserve a portion of the grill to create a "smoke station" where you can put a handful of wood chips in foil and slowly heat them until they smolder.

• 1 lb. fresh sugar snap peas

• 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

• Kosher salt

• 1 small red onion, thinly sliced vertically

• Leaves from 8 sprigs fresh mint, torn

1 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar


Toss the peas with a little bit of the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place them in a grill basket and set it directly over the coals of a small fire (low heat) spiked with apple wood chips. When the peas begin to char and soften, about 7 minutes, remove the basket from the fire.

Place the peas into a bowl. Add the onion and toss to combine. Let the mixture sit for a minute or two so that the heat of the peas can gently soften the onion. Add the mint, vinegar and remaining olive oil and season to taste with salt. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 147 Fat 10 g Sodium 7 mg Saturated fat 1 g

Carbohydrates 11 g Calcium 61 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 2 fat.

Wild rice with bell pepper and fennel and oregano

Serves 4.

Note: From "Cooking Light Pick Fresh Cookbook" (Oxmoor, $21.95).

1 (8.5-oz.) pkg. precooked wild rice

• 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 c. diced yellow bell pepper

1/2 c. diced fennel bulb

1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• 1/4 tsp. salt


Prepare rice according to package directions.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add bell pepper and fennel; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring frequenly. Stir in rice, oregano, black pepper and salt; cook 1 minute.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 115 Fat 5 g Sodium 155 mg Saturated fat 1 g

Carbohydrates 15 g Calcium 13 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1 fat.

sunday scones with dried strawberries and rosemary

Makes 4 scones, each about 3 inches.

Note: The only thing better than a plain, well-made scone is a scone with a few embellishments. In this case, dried fruit and herbs. You can top them with unsalted butter and honey, apricot or strawberry preserves or clotted cream. From "Cooking With Herbs," by Lynn Alley (Andrews McMeel, $16.99).

• 2 c. flour

• 1/3 c. sugar

• 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

• 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces

• 3/4 c. buttermilk

1/2 c. chopped dried strawberries or cranberries

1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

Butter and preserves, for serving


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.

In the work bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pulse to blend.

Add the cold butter. Turn on the machine and let it run until the butter is just blended in and the dough is the consistency of coarse cornmeal.

Turn off the machine and add the buttermilk, strawberries and rosemary, then pulse just long enough to blend the ingredients. Remove the dough from the processor and gently knead it in your hands, using just a few turns (no more than a dozen) to bring the dough together.

Lightly flour a cutting board. Roll out the dough until it is about 1 inch thick and cut it with a biscuit cutter or a water glass to form scones.

Place the scones on the baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Remove scones from oven. Let them cool a bit, then split them open and slather with butter and preserves.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 580 Fat 24 g Sodium 790 mg Saturated fat 15 g

Carbohydrates 83 g Calcium 137 mg

Protein 9 g Cholesterol 63 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 bread/starch, 2 ½ other carb, 5 fat.