not sure what to do with pea tendrils, broccoli raab or rhubarb? Here are a few recipes to start the season. Scroll to the bottom for printable versions.
Sautéed Pea Tendrils
Pea tendrils have a fresh, delicate flavor—not much needs to be done to them. In fact, they are delicious raw too!
- 1 bunch of pea tendrils—trim any tough ends
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2–4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- A sprinkle of sea salt
- Chili flakes, if you like heat (optional)
Rinse and chop the pea tendrils. Add olive oil and garlic to a cold skillet. Heat over medium heat until garlic is fragrant (but not brown!). Remove garlic clove from the pan and save for later (optional).
Add the chopped tendrils and sauté for about 30 seconds. Cover and cook just until wilted 2–5 minutes, depending on their thickness—don’t overdo it—you want them barely wilted, but still flavorful and crunchy!
Serve with a tiny sprinkle of sea salt and/or chili flakes if you want a little bit of heat. You also can chop the garlic and add it back in if you’d like.
Pea Tendril Pesto
This intensely flavored, neon green pesto recipe is inspired by one that appeared in the New York Times. Add up to a half-cup of additional fresh herbs such as chives, mint, arugula and parsley. Like most pestos, all amounts are approximate, so adjust according to your own taste. Recipe by Edible Portland
Try this pesto on a piece of toast with a sliced hard boiled egg; added to boiled potatoes with chopped green onions; or thinned with pasta water and tossed with wide-cut fresh noodles.
- ½ cup walnuts, raw or toasted
- 3 cups pea shoots, roughly chopped
- ½ cup grated Parmesan Reggiano
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Sea salt to taste
- 1/3 to ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. To toast the walnuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread walnuts on baking sheet and roast until golden, about 10 minutes. Check by letting them cool and then breaking a walnut in half. The inside should be golden all the way through. (Optional. Tastes good with walnuts just out of the bag too).
2. In a food processor or blender, combine walnuts, pea shoots, Parmesan and garlic. Pulse until roughly chopped. Add salt to taste. With motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Blend until well-combined and you reach your desired thickness. Scrape pesto into a bowl and use immediately, or store in a jar with a thick covering of olive oil and use within three days. You can also freeze in ice cube trays.
Makes 2 to 2 ½ cups
Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe
- 1 lb pasta, whatever shape you like (but chunky ones will match up better with the rabe)
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, heavy stems removed, remaining stems and leaves cut into 1- to 2-inch sections (roughly the same size as the pasta you are using)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more or less to taste
- About 1 heaping teaspoon Kosher salt (or more to taste)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and five minutes before its cooking time is up, add the broccoli rabe. It will seem like too much for the water, but with a stir or two, the rabe should wilt and cook alongside the pasta. Drain rabe and pasta together and pour into serving bowl.
In a small pot (or reuse the one you just emptied), heat the olive oil with the garlic, pepper flakes and Kosher salt over moderate heat, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the garlic becomes lightly golden. Pour mixture over pasta and toss to evenly coat. Shower with freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese and eat at once.
Spinach Salad with Strawberries & Basil
Adapted from Rachel Ray
- 1 shallot
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 ½ cups small strawberries
- 2 – 3 cups fresh spinach leaves
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 4 – 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Chop the shallot and put it in a small bowl. Add the vinegar, sugar and lemon juice and set aside. Meanwhile, hull the strawberries and cut them in half. Transfer to a serving bowl along with the spinach and basil.
Whisk the extra virgin olive oil into the vinegar mixture and season with salt and pepper. Toss the salad with the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with goat cheese if desired.
Vanilla Rhubarb Jam
- about a pound of rhubarb*, to yield about 3 1/2 to 4 cups once chopped
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
*If you start with a pound of rhubarb, by the time you trim the ends, you will have (shockingly) less than a pound of rhubarb, which will yield closer to 3 cups of chopped rhubarb. If you start with more like a pound and a half or a pound and a quarter of rhubarb, the yield once chopped will be closer to 4 cups. I have made the jam both ways and prefer it on the less sweet side — 1lb. 6 oz of rhubarb untrimmed left me with 4 cups of chopped rhubarb. You can always add more sugar about halfway through the cooking process if you find the jam to be too tart, but I doubt you will.
1. Wash rhubarb. Trim ends. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Place rhubarb in a saucepan with sugar. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the caviar with a paring knife. Place caviar and remaining pod in pan with rhubarb and sugar. Cover pan, place over medium heat and cook until the mixture is bubbling and the rhubarb has released a significant amount of its juices, about 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Uncover the pan, give the mixture a stir, and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick and jam-like in consistency, another 10 or 15 minutes. Stir frequently and use a spatula or spoon to breakdown any big pieces of rhubarb. Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to a jar and store in the fridge for at least a week.
From “One United Harvest.”
Because of rhubarb’s tart flavor, these taste just like lemon bars.
- 1½ cups flour
- 8 T powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2¼ cups sugar
- ¾ cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups diced fresh rhubarb
For the crust, stir together flour and sugar. Cut into butter. Pat this mixture in a greased 9 x 13” pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 15 min, until set, but not brown. Set aside.
Beat together eggs, sugar and flour. Stir in rhubarb. Pour this mixture over the hot crust and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until set.