I often serve this dish as an hors d'oeuvre with drinks while I'm getting the rest of the meal together. I put a bowl of it on the table for friends to spoon onto small plates, accompanied by good bread. Guests always ask for the recipe.
Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing:
2. Make the Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing: Rub the cut side of one of the garlic halves over the inside of a small bowl. Add the lemon juice, salt and sugar. Spear both garlic halves with a dinner fork. Using this as a whisk, drizzle in the olive oil until the sauce has formed a thin emulsion with a subtle garlic flavor; discard the garlic.
3. Up to 1/2 hour before serving, Add the sugar snap peas and lemon zest and toss to coat; season with fresh pepper.
4. Just before serving, using a mechanical slicer or a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmigiano into paper-thin shavings; scatter over the peas, toss gently.
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A former chef, Sally Schneider has won numerous awards—including four James Beard awards—for her books and magazine writing. She is creator of the lifestyle blog Improvised Life, a featured blogger on The Atlantic Monthly's Food Blog, and author of The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook. She has served as a contributing editor to both Saveur and Food & Wine, and her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Saveur, Food & Wine, SELF and Connoisseur.