9 In Salads

Balsamic Salad with Arugula, Pea Shoots and Parmesan

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!

But if you’re interested…
How to Grow Pea Shoots
How to Grow Pea Shoots in a Pot

Balsamic Salad with Arugula, Pea Shoots and Parmesan
Serves: 4
What You Need
  • 8 cups fresh spring greens (arugula, mizuna, red lettuce, etc)
  • 1 cup pea shoots
  • 1 cup edamame (or fresh peas)
  • 1 handful fresh mint (optional)
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
What To Do
  1. Wash and dry the greens and pea shoots. If using frozen edamame, steam the edamame for about 3 to 4 minutes, then rinse with cold water. Cut the mint into thin strips (chiffonade).
  2. 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. In a canning jar, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, ½ tablespoon stone ground mustard, 1 tablespoon honey, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, a generous amount of fresh ground black pepper. Shake vigorously to combine. (Alternatively, whisk these ingredients together in a bowl.)
  4. To serve, place the greens in serving bowls or plates. Top with pea shoots, edamame, mint, shavings of Parmesan cheese, and toasted walnuts. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and top with fresh ground pepper.

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  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    May 3, 2012 at 6:12 am

    This is so pretty! Love all that yummy green!

  • Reply
    May 3, 2012 at 11:54 am

    That is a totally ideal salad–especially with all the spring greens popping up in the farmer’s market. Hooray!

  • Reply
    May 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    This looks lovely! I’m especially excited about the dressing – honey and balsamic sound perfect together.

    • Reply
      May 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      Yeah — I think it might be a common dressing throughout the summer :)

  • Reply
    May 4, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Thanks for the link to growing pea shoots in a pot. Genius! I just discovered them on a recent trip to Beijing. It was one of the favorite vegetables I discovered while I was there. Bean shoots were also delicious! And the favorite of the trip was lilly bulbs – lovely!

    • Reply
      May 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      Fun! You should definitely grow some pea shoots, they are so good when they are just out of the soil!

  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    May 6, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Love the combination of mint & arugula. I’ve not tried pea shoots, but this salad has convinced me to try some. Love the addition of edamame too. Such a beautiful spring salad. :)

  • Reply
    May 7, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Your salad looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Amy Hoff
    March 6, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    what herbs do you recommend in place of the pea shoots?

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    Happy Cooking! ~ Sonja & Alex