Come spring and fall, one of my favorite greens are pea shoots. I occasionally see them on a few menus when I eat out, but have yet to have them available in our food store, or even local farmers market. But, it really isn’t a problem cause they are a breeze to grow yourself. We’ve been growing them for the past few years and we both look forward to the first pea shoot salad of the season. This year I amped things up with some grilled peaches and fresh mozzarella, cause that’s what we had around. As with most sprouts and shoots, I highly recommend you grow them at home if you’re interested. It’s nice to have a little crop of your own, and since they’re just a shoot, there’s not much commitment or maintenance needed. It’s not like trying to grow a beefsteak tomato all summer long, this is a fairly quick payoff.
I’ll usually get a packet of pea “seeds”, they’re just dried peas, at my local hardware store once they put all that fun stuff out in spring. Then with any chance of freezing weather being gone, I plant them in a pot and wait about 3-4 weeks till I harvest, if you even want to call it that, I just cut off the first 8 – 12” of each shoots. Pretty mindless. You can also plant another crop come fall, just make sure you do it about 3 weeks before the first expected freeze. Pea plants like the cooler weather, midsummer heat stresses them out, not great for eating. I also make sure to plant them pretty densely in the pot, ignore any instructions on the back of that seed packet since you’re going for the greens here, you’re not worried about them developing any pea pods. The variety I used here was a sugar snap pea, it’s what they had at the store, but use any pea variety, edible pea variety, DON’T plant sweet peas or anything like that!
It’s not like trying to grow a beefsteak tomato all summer long, this is a fairly quick payoff.
Pea Shoot Salad
with Grilled Peaches & Mozzarella
- pea shoots
- 2 peaches
- large ball of mozzarella
- olive oil
- aged balsamic
- fresh thyme
- s + p
So, for the salad, start with getting your greens, make sure they are dirt and bug free and ready to go. Next up slice up your peaches, and gently toss with some oil, salt and pepper. Then get them on the grill. You want em to get slightly charred but not overly cooked to jam, so just a few minutes on each side should do it.
With all the cooking bits done, you’re ready to plate up. Scatter those greens on a generously sized plate, top with some of the still warm grilled peaches and then rip up some high quality fresh mozzarella. Then to top it, drizzle with some good olive oil, aged balsamic, fresh thyme if you like, and definitely some more salt and pepper. That’s it. Eat up!