Peak Season: Pea Shoots

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.