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Pea shoots pesto pasta

Being a Chinese means I grew up eating and appreciating pea shoots.

Definitely not all season, it is a spring time treat. Chinese preparation is always a quick sauté. Rumor has it that Hunan Home at Los Altos, it’s $13 a plate. Fine greens requires a fat wallet.

I thought I was an expert on pea shoots until I tasted the ones grown at Full Circle Farm.

Working at the farm, I have the fortune of munching on freshly picked baby pea shoots as I walk through the field. The texture is succulent and crisp. The taste is grassy with a subtle hint of ‘pea’. It whispers spring.

At the farm, it is actually a cover crop, what the farm crew grows to re-energize the soil with the plants’ natural release of nitrogen.

Pea shoot pesto over grilled fish, with a side of pea shoot salad

Because of its unusual quality, I like to eat it raw. Some good olive oil, sherry vinegar, a little orange juice, then salt and pepper. I also have it with the bottled Orange Muscat Champaign vinegar from Trader Joe‘s. It’s perfetly fine.

For the older but bigger shoots I make pesto. Just a quick blanch, ice bath, a clove of raw garlic and lots of olive oil into the food processor. Salt and pepper to taste.

Tossed with pasta and topped with one Full Circle‘s egg, it is glorious.

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