Hidden Gem

22 Mar

Our CSA this week was offering pea shoots. I have never heard of them before, so of course I had to try them. In my mind i was envisioning a form of pea pods, but they actually look like baby arugula.They are also known as pea greens (which makes a bit more sense to me) and are the leaves of the pea plant.

Pretty cool right? The fact that they resemble most like leafy greens means they are super easy to prepare. They can be throw on top of a salad (the first way I ate them), sauteed, blended in a smoothie, steamed, topped on sandwiches, etc.

Nutritionally they are fantastic. Great source of Vitamin C (seven times more than blueberries!), good source of Folic acid and Vitamin A. Love it! Where have you been all my life?

I am so happy I came across these. I have never seen them in the grocery store. Apparently they are making their way into a lot of farmers markets. There are going to be a lot of happy and healthy shoppers this summer!

Tonight I threw them into a risotto dish along with edamame and mushrooms. I also mixed in a half can of pureed butternut squash that I had from an awesome whole wheat butternut squash pancakes recipe.

Risotto with Pea Shoots

  • 1/2 cup of arborio rice
  • 1 cup of edamame
  • 8 ounces pureed butter nut squash
  • 1 cup/handful of pea shoots
  • 16 ounces vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup of onions chopped
  • 1 cup of raw mushrooms sliced
  • 1 T olive oil

Heat a large skillet with olive oil, edamame and onions.

Cook for 2 minutes. Add arborio rice and stir for another 2 minutes. Gradually add stock 1/2 cup at a time and stir constantly. Continue until all the stock is used. Add more stock if the risotto is not creamy enough. Mix in wine. Stir in  pea shoots, squash puree and mushrooms.

If you can tell, I make risotto pretty frequently. I love the creaminess of it and how you can add almost anything to it. I always ordered it at restaurants, but was initially afraid to make it myself. I think it was because of the whole ‘constant stirring’ concept. You really should stir constantly, it helps make it more creamy. However, the more you make it, the better you get at not having to stir constantly. Tonight when I made this, I was able to unload a dishwasher in between stirs. I take that as a success! Don’t be afraid to make risotto! I know it is marketed as a fancy dish in restaurants, but it is totally doable in a regular ole’ kitchen.

Have a good night!

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One Response to “Hidden Gem”

  1. Tammy March 23, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    that looks great! I have never eaten pea shoots.

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