My CSA turned up a surprising new ingredient for me, one I don’t think I’ve encountered in the grocery store before: living pea shoots, AKA pea tenders. I got living green garlic too (which promptly made my kitchen an uninhabitable olfactory nightmare), but that’s a different story.
I love my CSA’s tendency to provide “living” food in the greens department. It means that all the roots are still attached. Come CSA pickup day, my dining room table becomes an impromptu indoor garden, with everything sitting in cups of water staying all fresh until it’s consumed. I got some living basil this week too, which will go into my planter.
IF I EVER GET THE THING DRAINED AND MOVED. Every time I make headway draining the thing, it pours 6″ of water overnight in a huge thunderstorm. I need a bilge pump and a tarp, for serious.
Where was I. Oh right. Pea tenders. Huh. I’ve grown peas, but it never occurred to me to consume the shoot before it produced the pea. Clearly I’m not alone in this, because otherwise I wouldn’t have to go thinking why is the bag labelling these as an ingredient? Well, it appears it’s like the green pepper of the pea world: it’s not your full-fledged pea, but you get to harvest in 1/4 of the time.
According to the internet, this ingredient is taking the world by storm because you get the delicate taste of peas in a leafy green. The entire shoot is edible, from stem to leaf to tendril. They can be eaten raw; they cook like spinach. I could see tossing them in a mesclun mix. Pea shoots are supposedly big in Asian cooking and can go into stir-fry and other items.
You know how I feel about Chinese food: Yes we can, baby.
I think the winner idea of them all was a recipe that showed me you can make risotto with it, by chopping them up and adding them at the end like you would any other delicate veggie that isn’t supposed to get cooked much.
WELL SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. I love risotto. I will be trying that puppy out.
Hm, suddenly I don’t think I got enough pea tenders in my allotment.
Anybody else got some great things they like to do with pea shoots?