Happy Plate

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That’s beautiful… but can I eat it? April 30, 2010

Filed under: Fresh From the Farm — Jennifer Kongs @ 2:00 pm

There is such a wide variety of specialty greens available at the farmers’ market that it is sometimes overwhelming when trying to make a decision.  It doesn’t help that most of the greens sit mixed together in baskets without individual labels.  Fear not, the farmer is always willing to answer your questions (he/she is trying to sell the stuff, after all!).  Some of the rarer, yet all the more tasty, greens that are available through Hoyland Farms are shownbelow  – with some quick recipe ideas, of course – so everyone can be more adventurous. 


Too delicate to travel far, pea greens are not a supermarket specialty.  The ones offered through Hoyland Farms are actually a field pea – a cover crop planted to provide nutrients to and protect the soil.  Also called pea shoots, these springtime treats provide plenty of nutrients for our bodies as well, including Vitamins A and C and Folic Acid.  The entire shoot is edible, so preparing the greens is fast and easy; the easiest way to eat pea greens is by chopping them up and tossing them into a salad.   If you want to try cooking the shoots, beware that they will cook down quite a bit – even more than spinach!  Adding the shoots at the last minute of a soup, or sauteeing briefly in olive oil with a bit of garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice are also easy ways to try out this rarer green.  For some more in depth recipe ideas, see http://www.peashoots.com/peashoots-recipes.htm, where you can find out how to make some mouth-watering dishes with the pea greens –  including pea shoot and feta fritters or pea shoot and walnut pesto. 


Despite its unassuming appearance, once you take a bite of sorrel you won’t forget it.  With a flavor akin to orange juice, this green lends itself easily to being chopped and tossed into salads to brighten the flavor.  Place a bunch of chopped sorrel into a food processor with garlic, olive oil, and vinegar for a tasty dressing for all the wonderful lettuces that are currently in season.  Sorrel makes a fabulous replacement for chard or spinach in a quiche or omelette as well.  And, of course, there are many recipes for a traditional French Sorrel Soup, like the one that can be found at this site.


One Response to “That’s beautiful… but can I eat it?”

  1. karenology Says:

    I saw sorrel on the menu at this Jamaican place in Kansas City. I had no idea what it was. Now I do!

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