It’s officially spring here in Indiana! In a matter of weeks, the tiny sprouts in our garden (see them in action) have transformed into healthy-looking plants.
We love growing peas, and we’ve heard for a while about how delicious the pea shoots can be, especially in salads. We decided to give it a go with some of our new crop, and found them to be just as amazing as advertised – the taste is a burst of intense, pea flavor!
We threw them into a salad with some delicate spring greens (from Full Hand Farm – truly delicious), along with toasted walnuts, parmesan, fresh mint (from our behind the garage stash!), and a balsamic vinaigrette. Since we didn’t have fresh peas (yet), we added edamame for a bit of extra protein and sweetness.
You can use pea shoots in other types of salad, stir fries, mixed in with pasta — or even just munch on them raw as a snack!
Don’t have pea shoots? Don’t worry, they’re easy to grow – even in a pot on a sunny windowsill! You also could try to find them at a farmer’s market near you. If you do attempt to grown them, remember that peas like cooler weather, so make sure to protect them from extreme heat.
And while we love the pea shoots, you could actually omit them without losing too much – the salad is delicious on its own, and adding some fresh herbs would do the trick too!
Balsamic Salad with Arugula, Pea Shoots and Parmesan
What You Need
Fresh spring greens – we used a mix of arugula, mizuna and red lettuce
Pea shoots (optional, but delicious!)
Edamame (or fresh peas)
Parmesan cheese (feta would also be delicious)
For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (aged)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
What To Do
1 Prepare the vegetables: Wash and dry the greens and pea shoots. If using frozen edamame, prepare them according to the package instructions. (We steamed the edamame or about 3 to 4 minutes, then rinsed them in with cold water.) Cut the mint into thin strips (chiffonade).
2 Toast the walnuts: In a dry pan over medium heat, heat the walnuts, stirring frequently, until browned – about 3 to 4 minutes (make sure to watch them constantly so they do not burn).
3 Make the vinaigrette: In a canning jar, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon stone ground mustard, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, a generous amount of fresh ground pepper. Shake vigorously to combine. (Alternatively, whisk these ingredients together in a bowl.)
4 Assemble the salad: Place greens in serving bowls or plates. Top with pea shoots, edamame or peas, shavings of parmesan, and toasted walnuts. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and top with fresh ground pepper.