What in the World Are Pea Tendrils? (Recipe: Orange and Avocado Salad with Pea Tendrils)

Pea tendrils are a delightful taste of spring and a great way to use the thinnings from your pea patch.

Early in the month, I instant messaged a friend the following:

i have weird vegetables coming out my ears: kale, collard greens, pea tendrils, and arugula flowers

Yes, indeed, those four cultivars were not things I was familiar with. But, I am happy to report that two weeks later, I am a huge, Huge, HUGE fan of pea tendrils. Love them!

So, here’s the deal: Pea tendrils, I’ve also heard them called pea shoots, are the early stems of the pea plant. Who knew that all the parts of the plant were edible? Not me!

In fact, years ago when we had room to garden, we planted lots of peas, me and my helpers. When it came time to thin the pea patch, we. threw. them. away.

Yes, I’m stunned, too. Evidence, right there by that little boy’s rake. We know better now. Every part is edible and delightfully flavored of peas, but with a salad green type texture. Amazing!

To serve, chop the stems, leaves, and flowers coarsely and rinse well in the salad spinner. Use as you would other greens, like in salad or in sautes. Pea tendrils took this spinach and egg dish over the top.

And it did wonders for our salads as well, adding texture and that slight nuance of peas. The white flowers are pretty, too, not to be confused with the purplish-white arugula flowers, which are also delightful.

 

Can you tell that I am just loving the arrival of Spring? Check this out. Yum!

Should you see pea tendrils or pea shoots at your farmer’s market or in your CSA box, snatch them up and enjoy them. So good — and such a beautiful taste of Spring!

Ever tried pea tendrils?

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Comments

  1. I’ve never heard of pea tendrils, this salad looks awsome though!

  2. We joined a CSA last year and had our first pea tendril experience! Your posts are getting me excited to get ours! Unfortunately, we still need to wait another month or so since we are behind you in the growing season. (We are in MN). Keep these “crazy” recipes coming please!

  3. I had never had them before they came in my Abundant Harvest box as well. I sauted aspargus and fresh garlic, mixed it with pasta, and added the pea shoots so they just barely wilted. Super yummy!

  4. Love pea tendrils! They are so tender and tasty. We have a local restaurant who uses them as a garnish on all of their sandwiches, omelets, and more – yummy!

  5. Thanks! I get a box every other week from AHO and recently got some pea tendrils and have been wondering what I should do with them…thanks for the inspiration!

  6. steve ripple says:

    Tendrils are only the parts of the plant that attach to something – those modified leaves that curl around things. Most of what you have pictured are leaves and stems, even flowers. So technically you have pea shoots.

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