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.