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.
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Suter oversees all dining and food coverage in Los Angeles. In May 2012, Suter took home a James Beard Award, the first ever awarded for food coverage in a general-interest publication. She has lent her culinary know-how to national publications including Saveur and Conde Nast Traveler, has appeared on a number of television and radio programs including Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen and Top Chef Masters, and is a regular guest on KCRW’s Good Food. She began her career as an Associate Editor at the music magazine Filter and later served as Editor-In-Chief of the alternative weekly newspaper L.A. Alternative.