May 07, 2010

Pea Greens

Pea greens.  They're the tips of pea plants, complete with flowers, stems, and frondy tentacles.  They might look like they will ensnare you, but these greens are in fact versatile, slightly sweet, and benign despite appearances.

And sometimes, the flowers contain little baby pea pods!

I bought these pea greens from the farmer's market after seeing them week after week but being too afraid to invest.  They're actually pretty cheap here, $1.50 for about a pound of greens.  I like this because I'm frugal and because I'm on a very tiny Americorps stipend.

Although some people say they taste like peas (and I was hoping they would), the flavor is much milder.  They do taste somewhat of peas, but they also taste slightly of spinach.  They're crunchy when raw, and I thought they'd make a fresh and mild addition to a stir fry.

I tossed them with homemade seitan, soy sauce, a bit of cumin, rice vinegar, agave, and some big chunks of onion.  The pea greens cooked down like spinach.  I was worried that the curly bits might have a gross, choke-inspiring texture, but they were tender and not wormlike.  Which is nice.

If you can't find these at your farmer's market, they also sell them at many Asian grocery stores.  They're a nice, mild change from spinach or kale.  Give them a try, don't fear the tendrils.

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