What to do with Green Garlic and Pea Shoots

Healthy,Ingredient,Recipes,Seasonal Foods,Spring
April 24, 2013

Tips and variations on two of our favorite spring time ingredients—peas and garlic.

fava bean salad 4.18.12

Amelia Saltsman, writer, cooking teacher, and author of the award-winning Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook, revels in the farmers’ market—in the common and not so common ingredients. Pea shoots and green garlic being two in the “not so common” category.

Here are Saltsman’s suggestions for cooking with the two under utilized ingredients:


Green Garlic 1

Green Garlic

“Green garlic, also called spring garlic, is a young garlic plant pulled from the ground before the bulb forms cloves,” Saltsman explains. “It has a mild flavor with a hint of green vegetable.”

• Look for young tender-looking plants with a straight bulb end and bright green leaves.

• Use the whole plant, tops and all like green onions or scallions, in soups, sautés and salads.

• Sauté green garlic as a topping for grilled or pan-fried fish or use as the star ingredient in Green Garlic and New Potato Soup.


Pea Tendrils 1

Pea Shoots

“Pea shoots, also called pea tendrils, are the ends of sugar snap pea plants that haven’t yet developed pods or flowers,” Saltsman says. “They add the flavor of fresh peas to a dish in a crisp leafy green form.”

• Look for tender small leaves and stems. Use the stems and curly tendril if they are tender; discard any tough parts.

• Sauté shoots in a small amount of butter or avocado oil seasoned with salt and white pepper until the shoots are shiny and bright green. Top with a squeeze of fresh lemon and serve as a quick side dish.

• Make Fava Bean and Pea Shoot Salad. Substitute, if desired, English or snap peas for the fava beans and different herbs or lettuces. Turn into a main dish by adding boiled eggs or a thick slice of feta cheese to each serving.

—By Carol M. Bareuther

fava bean salad 4.18.12

Fava Bean and Pea Shoot Salad

Tender pea shoots and nutty fava beans join up in this taste-of-spring salad.


Vegetable Ragout

Fresh baby vegetables perfectly complement a main course of pork or chicken.


Salad of Salmon, Beans and Crunch

This salad has some lovely elements, and enough going on to keep you from saying, "oh, no, not salmon again!"

Green Garlic and New Potato Soup

Green garlic, an ingredient available in early spring, lends its bold flavor to this potato soup.

Snow Pea Shoots with Tofu and Ginger Sauce

This vegetarian meal stars snow pea shoots, sweet potato and tofu.


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