Spring in December

IMG_0361Can you remember that first day earlier this year when you opened your windows and breathed in the uplifting scent of spring? That’s the time when pea shoots normally appear and bring smiles to the faces of farmers and back yard gardeners alike.

So how do we have fresh, local and lovely pea shoots in our refrigerators this first week of December?  And, if you’re like me, you might be a little challenged by their proper place in your meal planning. I’m happy to say, you may be surprised when they take center stage.

These precious shoots didn’t travel far and you know how much we all love that!  Todd, owner of The Grateful Garden in Hanover, gave us the taste of spring this week and we are the grateful ones.   Todd is wholly dedicated to sustainable gardening and is a valuable resource to those of us interested in practicing organic and sustainable gardening.

One of my favorite things about being part of South Shore Organics is discovering new foods.  Here’s what I learned about pea shoots this week. Pea shoots are common in Asian cooking and were brought here to the U.S. by Hmong immigrants in the 1970s.  The Hmong people migrated from the mountains south of China due to political unrest.  It’s most unexpected and enlightening when food research turns into a history lesson.  On to the lighter side of the lesson.

They are not only pretty but wonderfully mild making them easy to munch on plain or as a salad playing solo or tossed on in a supporting role. If you’ve got a few sprigs left, stuff them in your sandwich.IMG_0363

Boosting their appeal, pea shoots are a flavorful (not at all bitter) super quick side dish.  Simply sauté with garlic and oil and add a dash of salt if you like.  There will be no leftovers.
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Any way you choose to eat them, do it soon!  These are your tender greens and are best enjoyed as fresh as possible.  Spring break is almost over, breathe deep and have a good week.

by Michelle Berry

 

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