Pea Shoots: In Your Kitchen or On the Menu
Pea tendrils or shoots are in season at farmers markets and a few local restaurants.
Something unusual popped up in my farm share delivery this week: pea shoots, all dainty and curly.
Both the Union Square and Davis Square Farmers Markets often have them in the fall, as do Community Supported Agriculture farm shares (CSAs), much like mine. Pea shoots are often overlooked and usually very cheap to buy. If you are a gardener and you grow peas, do not let these delicate stems go to waste.
Also called peapod stems or tendrils, pea shoots taste very much like, well, peas—a cross between snap and sugar peas, but with a bit of mustardy bite, similar to arugula.
I love combining delicate greens with garlic and lemon to keep the flavors rather simple so that all ingredients shine. I made a salmon filet, wrapped in foil and steamed in the oven. The pea shoots cook beautifully on top of the fish, and their slight bitterness allows them to stand up to other flavors. Between the omega-3-rich fish and the vitamin-packed pea shoots, this is a very healthy meal.
No time to cook? I will let you in on a little Somerville secret. Zoe's Gourmet Chinese on Beacon Street often has phenomenal garlic pea shoots in their signature shimmering garlic sauce made rich by a dash of Chinese brown vinegar. The only trick? They're not on the menu! Be sure to ask your waiter.
Or head to Wang's Fast Food in Magoun Square (you may have to ask for them there too), and—though it's in Cambridge—Qingdao Garden on Mass. Ave. serves flavorful pea shoots too. Try them all and let me know which you think is best.