Peas Aren’t Just About the Pods


I am so excited to be starting a garden at the p-patch across the street this year. Along with tomatoes and basil and leeks and fennel and rainbow chard, I’m going to try growing some peas. But instead of growing the peas for the pods, I’ll be growing them for their delicate shoots. Apparently these shoots have been used in Asia for centuries, but they are pretty new to me. The young leaves and vines can be lightly sautéed and have a lovely fresh pea flavor.

I don’t have a specific recipe but the general idea is that you use the young tender vines and leaves from a snap pea or snow pea variety. You can also add just the leaves from the hardier stems. They only need to be sautéed for 10-20 seconds or so. I think they would go well with any dish that has light, fresh flavors, such as fish, stir-fry, risotto (with lemon!) or a pasta dish.

My first encounter with pea shoots was at Crave. Chef Robin Leventhal uses the shoots in a dish of goat cheese gnocchi. It is my favorite dish at Crave and I highly recommend it if you have a chance to stop by for dinner.



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2 Responses to “Peas Aren’t Just About the Pods”

  1. Jaq Says:

    They also make a nice addition to a salad, if you have any left over. Lightly sauted or blanched and then chilled, they mix nicely with mint too.

    Good luck on the garden! My container-gardened basil did really well last year. I’m still on the pea-patch waiting list. Anything you end up with too much of (except maybe zucchini…), I’d be happy to take off your hands.

  2. boxofbirds Says:

    Oh yes, salad, great idea.

    Thanks! I hope to have a bounty of tomatoes for caprese and sauce and salsa and fried green tomatoes, and more to share… And no zucchini! Sure, they’re easy to grow, but they take up too much room.

    At the very least, we bought enough plants that I’m sure to get something out of it, even if things go badly!

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