Pea Shoot Pesto

Of the many things to enjoy about spring: the funky shoots appearing more frequently at farmers markets and restaurants. The next few weeks will bring radish shoots and garlic shoots. Today I had 4 ounces of pea shoots.

Pea shoots are the tendrils of young pea plants, usually snow peas. They’re sweet and crunchy. There are a dozen things you can do with them. Use them in stir fries, in salads or wilted on soups.

Or, make pesto.

I whipped up a version that included a small bunch of chives growing outside in a pot. The result was a strong-tasting pesto — not sweet like basil pesto, but every bit as delicious. Whole wheat spaghetti took away some of the bite. This pesto also pairs well with chicken or fish.

Pea Shoot Pesto

4 ounces pea shoots
1 bunch chives
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cut toasted pine nuts (or walnuts)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Combine pea shoots, chives, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor or blender. Slowly add olive oil and blend. Put mixture into a bowl. Stir in cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.


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