While spring has officially sprung, I haven't seen any evidence of it at the Farmer's Market. No asparagus or rhubarb or strawberries. It's murder walking through on a warm sunny day only to see the same old root veggies of winter.
Last Friday I was thoroughly devoid of hope, expecting to get more carrots and salad greens and cheese and apples and fish. Yes, I know even in winter it isn't a bad haul. Baby girl and our friends S and her baby boy accompanied me and before we reached the first stand, the kids screamed, I want apple!! I want cheese!! We stopped to get them each a whole apple as wholes are a very big thing these days. Anything split apart without permission first is a terrible offense.
S and I chatted as we strolled and shopped and everything seemed exactly as it has been for the last few months... that is until I stopped at a salad greens stand and noticed one of the coolers was loaded with pea shoots!! Finally, a spring veggie. Pea shoots are the vines that pea pods grow from and they taste just like peas only their texture is more salad-like. I love them raw in salads or mixed into any number of dishes. Think, saute fish or chicken and then throw pea shoots in afterwards and cook just until wilted. For dinner that night, I wilted them in the sauce of some lovely market flounder that had been sautéed in garlic, butter and lemon juice. Pea shoots are fun to eat, easy to cook and they only last a short time. So get out there and enjoy the first signs of spring!
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Flounder with Olives and Pea Shoots
(This dish is a show-stopper when plated on a platter family style with the flounder laid out and the pea shoots mounded in the middle. While it's simple enough for a weeknight dinner, it's pretty - and tasty - enough for entertaining.)
What You'll Need:
3 cloves Garlic minced
2 tbsp Butter
1 pound Flounder fillets (or any other mild white fish. I'm making this again tonight with cod.)
1 Lemon cut in half
1/2-1 cup olives pitted and sliced in half (I used a Mediterranean mix)
Salt and Pepper
A large handful of Pea Shoots about 2 cups
Set a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the butter and garlic and cook until the garlic is softened. Be careful not to brown the garlic. Place the flounder in the pan and then squeeze half the lemon overtop. If you'd like it even more lemony, squeeze the other half. Cook for about 3 minutes, salt and pepper the flounder and then flip them over. Scatter the olives over top. Cook for another 3-5 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through. Remove the flounder to a platter.
Add the pea shoots to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes until just slightly wilted. Removed the pea shoots and placed atop the fish. Then pour out the olives and any juices from the pan over the fish. Serve and enjoy!
Cost per Meal: Expect 4-5 servings
This Time Last Year: Risotto Milanese with Scallops and Balsamic Reduction