What are they?
The young, delicate leaves, vines, stems, tendrils and flowers of the pea plant are a delight and full of springy sweetness! Since pea shoots are actually made of various parts of the plant there is a range of textures in there; stems can be very soft with young plants, but as they mature you can get a nice crunchy texture.
Pea shoots are highly nutritious containing huge quantities of Vitamin K, as well as Vitamins A, B(6), C and E – sorry but you’ll still have to get some of that limited sunshine for your vitamin D!
What to do with them?
Eat your pea shoots raw for that deliciously intense hit of pea flavour. Mix things up a little and replace leafy greens with pea shoots in your salads and sandwiches, or use them to garnish your pasta dishes for a summery lift.
Pea shoots can also be cooked gently to brighten up a light meal. Just wash the pea shoots and drop them into an empty saucepan on a medium heat and cover; the water that hangs from the shoots is enough to steam them. You could also try stir-frying them in a wok with garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil for a nice side dish. Or whizzing them up into a gloriously green soup along with onion, potato, frozen peas, stock and spices.
When are they in season?
Late March – October.