Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center

Vegetable Research and Extension

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Pea Shoots

Warm Crab Salad with Garlic Pea Shoots

Excellent flavorings highlight the crab, served on a bed of seasoned pea shoots.

1 pound fresh lump crab meat
1 pound pea shoots
1 tablespoon canola oil

3 tablespoons minced scallion greens
1-1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1-1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
3-1/2 tablespoons clear rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
2 red bell peppers, diced

Remove any shells or cartilage from crab meat. Cut pea shoots into 4-inch long sections. Mix Seasoning ingredients together.

Prepare Dressing.
Heat a wok or skillet, add 1 teaspoon of the oil, heat. Add pea shoots, toss for 30 seconds, then add 1 tablespoon of rice wine. Cook 30 seconds more until leaves are slightly wilted. Remove, drain and arrange on serving plate.

Reheat pan, add remaining oil and heat. Add Seasonings and toss 15 seconds. Add red peppers and remaining rice wine and toss about 1 minute.
Add Dressing and heat to boiling, then add crab meat and toss lightly over high heat for 1 minute. Arrange crab mixture over pea shoots and serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 6.

Calories 155, Fat 3.6 g, Protein 21 g, Carb 11 g, Fiber 3.3 g, Cholesterol 53 mg, Vit. A 227 RE, Vit. C 133 mg, Sodium 635 mg, Calcium 79 mg, Iron 1.6 mg Recipe adapted from A Spoonful of Ginger: Irresistible, Health-Giving Recipes from Asian Kitchens by Nina Simonds (Knopf 1999).

Asparagus Risotto with Pea Shoots and Parmesan

Pea shoots provide a pleasant texture in this full-bodied risotto. Adapted from a recipe by Chris Douglass at Wild Harvest

6 cups low-sodium vegetable stock

3 tablespoons diced onion
2 tablespoons butter

2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 pound asparagus, sliced

1/2 cup vegetable juice
2 ounces fresh Parmesan, grated
4 ounces pea shoots

Bring vegetable stock to a low simmer. In the meantime, in a large saucepan, sweat onions in butter over medium heat. When onions are soft and translucent add rice and continue cooking for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add white wine while stirring. Add stock half a cup at a time, stirring frequently. As the rice absorbs the stock add more, one half cup at a time. When half the stock has been added, add the sliced asparagus, continue cooking. Keep the rice barely soupy with liquid, neither dry or swamped, and stir constantly over brisk heat to produce the creamy textured sauce.

Check rice for doneness by tasting, it should be just done and lightly bound together in a creamy sauce. At the last minute gently heat the vegetable juice and stir the pea shoots into the risotto. Spoon risotto onto plates; drizzle with vegetable juice. Top with grated Parmesan. Serves 6.

Calories 430, Fat 8.5 g, Protein 15 g, Carb 68 g, Fiber 3.8 g, Cholesterol 22 mg, Vit. A 119 RE, Vit. C 30 mg, Sodium 380 mg, Calcium 198 mg, Iron 1.69 mg.

Soba with Pea Shoots, Shiitake Mushrooms and Leeks

This exotic-tasting main dish can be prepared in 45 minutes or less. Adapted from a recipe appearing in Gourmet, June 1994, also available on-line at

4 small leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin crosswise, washed thoroughly, and patted dry (about 1-1/2 cups)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced

4 scallions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
8-ounce package soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles)

1/2 pound pea shoots, washed well

In a large skillet, cook leeks in oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and cook 5 minutes. Stir in scallions, soy sauce, and vinegar and cook 1 minute.

In a kettle of salted boiling water, cook noodles 5 minutes or according to package directions. Put pea shoots in a colander and drain cooked noodles over shoots to wilt them. Rinse mixture in cold water and drain well.

In a medium-sized bowl, toss noodles with pea shoots and stir in cooked vegetables. Season mixture with salt and pepper and serve at room temperature. Serves 4.

Calories 322, Fat 4.4 g, Protein 14 g, Carb 62 g, Fiber 4.3 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Vit. A 14 RE, Vit. C 57 mg, Sodium 750 mg, Calcium 93 mg, Iron 5.2 mg.

Pasta with Roasted Garlic, Pea Puree and Pea Shoots

Adapted from a recipe at:

1 head garlic
1 cup pea shoots, rinsed
2 10-ounce packages frozen peas, thawed

2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh herb leaves, chopped (use basil or oregano or tarragon)

3/4 pound bow-tie pasta

Preheat oven to 425 F. Cut 1/2 inch off top of garlic head. Wrap garlic in foil, roast in oven 30 minutes or until very soft. Cool. Squeeze roasted garlic from head into blender.
In a saucepan, cook peas in water just until tender, about 5 minutes. Add peas, cooking liquid, butter, lemon juice, and herbs to blender and puree. Keep warm.
Cook pasta until al-dente. Drain. Toss pasta in a bowl with puree, pea shoots and salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

Calories 457, Fat 5.5 g, Protein 20 g, Carb 85 g, Fiber 10 g, Cholesterol 8 mg, Vit. A 133 RE, Vit. C 43 mg, Sodium 194 mg, Calcium 67 mg, Iron 4.9 mg

Mussels Steamed in Pernod with Pea Vines and Lavender

Recipe developed by Matt Costello, chef at Palace Kitchen – Seattle, Washington

1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 lb mussels
1/4 cup Pernod (or other anise liquor)
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup fresh fennel (thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon fresh lavender
1/2 lb butter
1 lemon
1 bunch pea vines (leaves and tendrils, no stems)

Sauté the shallots in a knob of butter. Add the cleaned mussels (washed and de-bearded). Add Pernod and the wine along with the fennel and a pinch of the lavender. Steam the mussels in the pan until they all just start to open. Swirl in enough butter to coat everything along with more lavender if needed. Toss in the juice of the lemon and the pea vines (leaves and tendrils, no stems) until they are wilted. Serve immediately.

Food from the Field

Local farmers areproviding new foods for your table. Buying local produce not only gives you fresh, nutritious food, but also enhances your community. This recipe series is produced by WSU Extension Agricultural Systems Program and Gayle Alleman, MS, RD. You can contact us at: 360-848-6150

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