Now that we’re past the April showers and onto May, it feels like spring is in full force, especially on our plates. Interest in local and seasonal produce still hasn’t peaked and involvement in CSAs and trips to the farmers market is still trending. Pea shoots, until recently a vegetable rarely used in the home, are now seeing a spike in exposure and usage.
These leafy tendrils are the offshoots of the garden pea and ambassadors of their crisp, green flavors. The best part is that they are available long before peas in the season, which can take all summer to mature. Pea shoots can be eaten whole, stem and all, and are best raw or lightly cooked. They may look like mere garnish, but they can pack a bright and tasty punch.
Keep an eye out for them on the specials menu! A few NYC restaurants have featured them as specials already:
@FattyCrab Fatty Crab downtown spring specials.. Seared Flat Iron Steak | spring garlic curry, pea shoots, tarragon, lime. $18
@TheFatRadish Entree: roasted block island blackfish, pea shoots, fava beans, stewed tomato
@MarbleLaneNY come try our ramps with sugar snap peas, English peas, and pea shoots
Other restaurants with pea shoots on their daily dinner menu include Ai Fiori, Le Verdure at Eataly, and Pure Food and Wine.
Image Credit: Marble Lane, Seouldiva