Summer Salad of Peas, Beans and Asparagus with a Lemon & Mint Vinaigrette

*Summer Salad of Peas, Beans and Asparagus with a Lemon & Mint Vinaigrette*
Serves 4

This is such a pretty green colour and the dressing is fabulous.  This is something I threw together with what I had to hand and it's become a true favourite.  The flavours are delightfully fresh and moreish.

For the dressing:
1 small shallot, peeled and minced
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
2 TBS chopped fresh mint
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the vegetables:
1 small packet of snow peas, washed and strings removed
(about 3/4 cup)
1 small packet of haricot verts, washed and trimmed
(about 1 1/2 cups)
1 bunch of thin asparagus, trimmed and washed
a handful of fresh or frozen peas (thawed)

Whisk together the salad dressing ingredients.  Set aside.  (You can also shake them together in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.)

Have a steamer basket ready over fast simmering  water.  (You will need a lid) 

Slice the snow peas on the diagonal into two or three pieces, depending on the size.  Slice the haricot vert diagonally into several pieces as well.  Slice the asparagus and trim off the pointy bits on the stem. 

Drop the haricot verts into the steamer basket.  Cover and steam for about 2  minutes.  Drop in the asparagus.  Cover and steam for a further minute.  Drop in the snow peas and fresh peas.  Cover and steam for 1 to 2 minutes longer.  You want vegetables that are bright green and crispy tender.  Drop all into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process, and then drain well.  Hold until you are ready to serve the salad.

When ready to eat, toss the crispy tender vegetables in the dressing and serve immediately.

Note: do not let the vegetables linger too long in the dressing as the colour will be compromised.  They will still taste wonderful, but not be as pretty.