World PEAS Salad with Balsamic Mushrooms
A delicious spring salad featuring World PEAS peas!
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Pea shoots—also known as pea sprouts—are the young leaves and stem of traditional garden pea plants. While a pea plant can take 60-70 days to mature, pea shoots are harvested after just 2-4 weeks. They are very young and tender, with a distinctive, sweet pea flavor. Though the origins of the pea plant is unknown, it is likely one of the oldest domesticated crops in the world. Remnants of pea plants have been found in Switzerland dating back to the Bronze Age and in an Egyptian tomb at Thebes. In many cultures, peas were originally grown for their dried seeds due to the belief that green, or fresh, peas were poisonous. Fresh-shelled green peas did not appear in European cuisine until after the Norman Conquest of England. By the end of the 16th century green peas were a common vegetable across most of Europe. Their seeds were brought to North America by early colonists, where the plant flourished.
Pea shoots, however, are a very popular traditional dish from Asia. Originating in China, Hmong immigrants brought pea shoot cuisine with them as they settled in present-day Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand in the early 1800s. The descendants of these immigrants then fled to America as refugees during the 1970s, further spreading this traditional food.Pea shoots are a very versatile vegetable. They are a delicious addition to any salad or stir-fry, and can also be added to sandwiches or cooked with chicken or fish
Handling: Rinse gently in cold water before use. Because pea shoots are harvested so young, both the leaves and stem are tender and edible.
Storing: Fresh pea shoots should store for over a week in a sealed plastic bag, but they are best when eaten fresh. Freezing is not recommended.