My dad is afraid of peas.
It’s easy to have the misconception that your parents are superheros. I’ve seen my mom make sunny side down eggs at least a thousand times in my life and not once have I ever seen her break the yolk. Somehow every morning my dad manages to make oatmeal, take a walk, watch the news, vacuum the house, brush the cat, and clip his nails all before 7 AM. It’s like they’re not human.
I remember the first time I discovered my dad’s animosity towards peas. It wasn’t like the choice he made to stop eating red meat. This was a perfectly harmless, rather adorable vegetable that for whatever reason–sent him running in the other direction. I felt determined to explore peas further; to show him that these mushy green spheres don’t have to be his kryptonite. When Food Network first sparked my interest in pea shoots, I wondered how they differentiated from the ordinary peas that came in my Cup O’Noodles.
Perfectly normal inner struggle…right?
- What are pea shoots? Well, thank you for asking. Pea shoots are the leaves and tendrils of pea plants.
- What do pea shoots taste like? You’ve never tasted the tendril of a pea plant?! Get off of my blog. Just kidding. Pea shoots taste like a sweet version of alfalfa sprouts. They’re crunchy, light, and have a mildly grassy flavor like alfalfa and clover sprouts do. The stem is a bit thicker than the sprouts you’re used to but the texture makes for a great bite.
- How do I use pea shoots? Keep reading…
The next time you’re looking to add a bright crunch to your meal and elevate it from average to gourmet, try using these crisp little characters for a change of pace. Here are three ideas to get you started:
1. Change up your stirfry by adding pea shoots instead of bean sprouts.
The shoots have a similar snap to bean sprouts without being overpowering. Pea shoots wilt in a stirfy, but can also be added right on top so you get both the cooked and uncooked flavors. They also balance out spiciness and add a nice textural contrast to the soft noodles.
2. Top your sunny side, scrambled, or fried egg with a handful of pea shoots.
Peas in my breakfast? Ew, Fanny. Trust me on this one. Eggs have a rich, buttery mouth-feel and the light airiness of the pea shoots give your palate something fresh to work with and also wake up your tastebuds. Good morning tastebuds!
3. Romaine who? Add pea shoots as the crunchy greens in your veggie sandwich.
I realize that a typical sandwich chain doesn’t offer pea shoots on their list of condiments. Sorry Subway, but you don’t. That being said, pea shoots are available at Trader Joes along with a variety of other delicious vegetables. Toast a bagel and top it with hummus, avocado, pesto, juicy tomatoes, and pea shoots instead of sprouts.
Needless to say, my dad is still afraid of peas.
However, he was the one who encouraged me to write this blog so that the world–him included–could view them from another angle. What do you think, Dad? Pea shoots, pea scores?
Don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby? Plant some peas and grow your own pea shoots! Leave comments with any questions.
May the peas be with you.