One of the fun things about springtime after you discover Farmer’s Markets is that there are all kinds of edible young greens available that aren’t sold commercially. I always look for ways to use beet greens and add radish leaves to soups. This week at the market I saw beautiful pea shoots, which are the soft, young stems and leaves of pea vines and plants. They’re entirely edible with a nice toothy crunch, tasting lightly of peas.
If you’re not sure how to use them, just treat them as you would spinach, since they’re a bit delicate and cook quickly. Fresh pea shoots are high in nutrients, serving as an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A and a good source of vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin B6, with all the beneficial fiber, and antioxidants of many leafy greens.
2 simple ways to make the most of pea shoots this spring:
Pea Shoot Salad, Radishes, Pickled Onions
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup shelled fresh English peas
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups pea shoots
10 radishes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and teaspoon sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add onion; let stand 30 minutes. Drain. Cook English peas in boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt for 2 minutes. Drain; rinse peas with cold water. Combine onion, peas, pea shoots, and sliced radishes in a large bowl. Combine olive oil, white wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Drizzle oil mixture over pea mixture; toss gently.
Pea Shoots, Celeriac, Apples & hazelnuts
2 large tart green apples
1 medium celeriac
Medium handful of pea shoots, about 1 oz
1/4 cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp hazelnut oil
salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the rough exterior off the celeriac, and cut the inner white part into thin matchsticks. Cut apples in small cubes. Wash and dry pea shoots. Put cider vinegar in large bowl. Slowly add hazelnut oil in thin stream while whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Add celeriac, apple, pea shoots, and hazelnuts to bowl. Toss with vinaigrette. Gently mound salad on a plate. Sprinkle top with a few more nuts.