This year, more than ever, I find myself bringing home beautiful and unusual greens and vegetables. Last year seemed to be the year of kale for me. I tried so many different varieties, loving each one more than the last. This year I've slowly been opening the doors to things like mibuna, chive blossoms, and this week with pea shoots. How could I resist their small delicate leaves and spiraled ends. Never mind how I planned on using them, I just knew I had to have them.
I knew the easy way out would be to saute them like I do with most greens, but I wanted something fresh and light; something to bring a little spring time sunshine into the forecast. And honestly something that was going to be a quick lunch or dinner side, that did not mean a sandwich or granola bar on the run.
Pea shoots are the young leaves and spirals from pea plants before the peas have formed. You are likely to find them at a farmers market near you this time of year. They offer up a huge amount of nutrients too. I encourage everyone to experiment with knew greens, it's kind of really fun to change things up.
Pea shoots offer up such a refreshing flavor with a slight taste of fresh peas. Make sure to chop them into pieces short enough to eat in one bite. The dressing keeps this salad light but with a great flavor from the sesame seeds and oil. I served ours over a big pile of soba noodles for a tasty mid-day meal.
Sesame Pea-Shoot Salad
Adapted from Gourmet
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 large carrot, julienned
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted lightly
1/2 to 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
6 cups pea shoots, washed and roughly chopped
In a medium sauce pan of boiling salted water cook snap peas for 2-3 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse in cold water. Pat dry.
In a small bowl whisk together rice vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, brown sugar, and soy sauce until sugar is dissolved.
In a large bowl toss the pea shoots, snap peas, and carrots with the dressing.