Market Watch: Pea Shoots

by in Farmers' Market Finds, July 11, 2011
pea shoots
Tender, sweet, delicate pea shoots at the farmers' market.

A true farmers’ market find: Sweet and tender pea shoots are too delicate and perishable for the supermarket.

Pea shoots are the green, coiled tendrils of the pea plant with delicate rounded leaves. They’re bursting with nutrients like vitamin C, fiber and even some protein. Shoots have a subtle pea flavor and add a fresh bite to salads, seafood recipes, and summer rolls (see recipe below). You can also wilt them into soups or pasta dishes by tossing in right before serving.

Shopping Tip: Choose crisp and bright green shoots. Store in the refrigerator gently wrapped in a paper towel and a plastic bag, use within 2 days.

pea shoot summer rolls
Summer rolls made with fresh-from-the-farm pea shoots.

Pea Shoot Summer Rolls with Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce
(Makes 24 pieces)

12 rice paper rounds

Filling:
2 oz (dry) thin rice noodles
2 large carrots, julienned
½ English cucumber, seeded and julienned
2 cups fresh pea shoots
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
Optional add-ins: cooked chicken breast, shrimp or pork

Dipping Sauce:
3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili sauce (Sriracha recommended)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; reduce heat to low. Using tongs, dip sheets of rice paper into water for 2 to 3 seconds and transfer to a damp kitchen towel. Top with a small bed of noodles followed by pea shoots, carrot, cucumber and light sprinkle of herbs. Roll gently and set aside. Repeat with remaining sheets of rice paper.

To prepare dipping sauce, combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Cut prepared summer rolls in half and serve with sauce.

Nutrition Info Per Piece:
Calories: 23
Total Fat: 1 gram
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 5 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Sodium: 138 milligrams
Cholesterol:  0 milligrams
Fiber:  0.5 gram

More Recipes to Try:
Spring Green Salad
Sautéed Sea Scallops topped with Pea Shoots

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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