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Seasonal Eats: Make the Most of Pea Shoots this Spring!

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Pea Shoots at the Farmer's Market (Heather Parlato/LAist)
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One of the fun things about springtime after you discover Farmer's Markets is that there are all kinds of edible young greens available that aren't sold commercially. We looked at green garlic last year, and ways to use beet greens and add radish leaves to soups—this week we'll appreciate pea shoots, which are the soft, young stems and leaves of pea vines and plants. They're entirely edible with a nice toothy crunch, tasting lightly of peas. If you don't have room for the full vine, pea shoots make great container plants you can graze for salad instead.

If you're not sure how to use them, just treat them as you would spinach, since they're a bit delicate and cook quickly. To general sense before you start, check out these recipe run-downs here and here. Fresh pea shoots are quite nutrient-dense, serving as an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A and a good source of vitamin E, folate, thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin B6, with all the beneficial fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants of many leafy greens.

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Pea Shoot, Radish & Apple Salad
5 ways to make the most of pea shoots this spring:

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Chop them coarsely and add them to your favorite chopped salad. I created this pea shoot, apple and radish salad to combine a little crunch, a little sweet and a little spice into a salad you can eat with chop sticks.

Combine the peas & pods with the shoots in this soy-sauced sesame pea shoot salad.

Go hearty with your salad with pea shoot and spinach salad with bacon and shiitakes.

Try this fantastic combination in a fresh spring appetizer, crostini with pea shoots and strawberries.

Here's a new take on latkes, how about mixing them up with potato and feta for pea shoot fritters!

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Previously:
Seasonal Eats: 6 Ways to Enjoy Brussels Sprouts
Seasonal Eats: Tame The Wild Stinging Nettles