Peak Season: Pea Shoots

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The woman selling walnut oil at the farmers’ market took one look in my bag, spotted the tangle of bright green pea shoots, and smiled. “Sauté them and drizzle a little bit of this oil on top with a sprinkle of salt,” she said, and not a spring week has gone by where I haven’t made exactly that dish—on top of quinoa, as a bed for fish, or all by itself. The leaves and tendrils of the pea plant are tender early in the season (they get stringy as they mature). Tossed in a salad or garnishing a soup, their subtle flavor is the essence of springtime. Snip any curly ends that feel tough to the touch.