Flavor: A sweet and buttery legume, there are many varieties of pea. Peas still in the pod, such as snow and snap peas have more of an earthy crunch, while peas removed from the pod, as in the English variety, have a delicate and buttery flavor. Pea tendrils or shoots, can be eaten as well, and have a fresh taste, similar to other baby greens.
Benefits: Peas are high in dietary fiber, an excellent source of protein and a great source of vitamin C.
Storage Tips: Store pod or English pea varieties in a resealable bag or container in the refrigerator and use within a couple days for the best results. English pea varieties do well frozen or canned, simply shell peas from pod and blanch in boiling water before canning or placing into resealable freezer bags.
Cooking and Preparation: Pod varieties should be washed and the stem ends remove before tossing into stir fries, soups or salads. English varieties should be removed from the pod and blanched before adding to fresh salads, or steamed with butter and tossed with fresh herbs. These varieties are also great for pot pies, soups or pasta dishes.
Spinach Salad with Early Summer Dressing
Time: 15 minutes
1 bunch of First Light spinach 1 cup pea tendrils 1 cup raw shredded beets 1/2 cup shredded radish 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1 pint strawberries 1/2 cup white wine vinegar 1 tbsp. sunflower oil 1 small shallot, thinly sliced sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Wash and stem spinach leaves. Toss with pea tendrils and distribute evenly into four salad bowls.
Shred beets and radishes and then arrange evenly in salad bowls.
Toast walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until toasted and deep golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Wash, hull and then smash strawberries in a bowl with the back of a wooden spoon. Whisk in vinegar, oil, sliced shallot and seasonings.
Arrange walnuts on salads and allow everyone to help themselves to the Early Summer Dressing.