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Sugar Snap Peas with Radish and Spelt Grains


Hetty McKinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen is back with us today, sharing another robust, flavoursome salad from her new book, ‘Neighbourhood‘.

Originally based in Surry Hills, Sydney, where her home-cooked salad lunches gathered a cult following, Hetty has since relocated with Brooklyn, NY with her family.  Today, she shares with us a crisp and juicy salad of sweet sugar snap peas, teamed with crunchy radish, nutty spelt grains and a flavour-packed ginger, honey and lemon dressing.

Neighbourhood by Hetty McKinnon is now available from all good bookstores, and online here!

11th October, 2016
Hetty McKinnon
Tuesday 11th October 2016

I like to think that I can walk the walk when it comes to vegetables. But, like every home cook, sometimes my cooking habits get stale. This was definitely the case with sugar snap peas – they taste so wonderful lightly sautéed with garlic and olive oil, why would I eat them any other way?

But one fine spring day, my sugar snap pea epiphany occurred, courtesy of my New York friend Jodi Moreno (she writes a very cool blog called What’s Cooking Good Looking). We had made a deal to cook a salad together – she was to surprise me with a greenmarket vegetable and I would use it in a salad. When Jodi presented me with a bag of sugar snap peas, she also suggested that I use them raw, slicing them into razor thin strips. As I got my knife to work, I soon discovered the aesthetic beauty of finely sliced sugar snaps – I especially love how the peas inside gracefully spill out while they are being chopped.

This salad is super crisp, with juicy sweet sugar snaps teamed with crunchy radish, nutty spelt grains and the most lovely flavour-packed ginger, honey and lemon dressing. This is the perfect healthy weeknight salad, when a quick yet nutritious dinner is required.

This recipe is from Hetty’s new book ‘Neighbourhood’ (RRP $39.99) published by Plum and available now from good bookstores and online here.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

For the salad

  • 400 g spelt grains
  • 400 g sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 4 radishes (about 150 g), trimmed
  • 4 Chinese shallots (see note page 32), finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup coriander leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • Sea salt and black pepper

For the Ginger, honey and lemon dressing

  • 2.5 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • juice of 1 small lemon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 80 ml (1⁄3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper


  • spelt: pearl barley, farro, freekeh
  • sugar snap peas: snow peas, asparagus
  • For gluten free, use quinoa in place of spelt
  • For vegans, use maple syrup in place of honey


Add the spelt grains to a saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30–35 minutes until the grains are tender. Drain.

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Season well with salt and pepper.

Using a sharp knife, finely slice the sugar snap peas lengthways. Shave or slice the radishes into thin rounds. Place the sugar snap peas and radishes in a large serving bowl and add the shallots, coriander leaves and spelt grains. Add the ginger, honey and lemon dressing, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. To serve, scatter over the sesame seeds.

Hetty McKinnon’s Sugar Snap Peas with Radish and Spelt Grains. Photo – Luisa Brimble.

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