”What can I do with pea shoots?” Salad
inspired by New York Times Cooking
- 2 tablespoons white miso (or just eyeball it; also, I haven’t tried it with brown miso and that might be fine)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 (or however many) garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 cups (or 2, 15 ounce cans) white beans-of-choice rinsed and drained (see also, my fennel beans recipe!)
- a big handful of pea shoots (arugula or another zesty leafy green would probably be good here but the point of this recipe is to use up pea shoots, which you should try if given the chance)
- 3 to 4 small radishes, thinly sliced (optional, as I don’t really like radishes but if I happen to get them in my CSA share, I’ll throw them in)
- Black pepper (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk the miso with 1/4 cup water until dissolved. Sit it off to the side.
- In a large skillet or a medium-to-large size pot, melt the butter over medium until it foams.
- Immediately add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.
- Add the beans and coat them in the butter.
- Add miso and cook for about 5 minutes to combine flavors and warm everything up.
- Remove from heat, toss in the greens (and radishes, if using), and stir.
- You may want to add black pepper, you may not. Salt is probably not needed because, hello, miso.
- Serve warm or cold.
This is one of the many recipes I discovered and adapted due to that beautiful thing called a CSA (community supported agriculture) share. I had heard of these before the pandemic, but my household’s deep desire to avoid the grocery store after March 2020 made me try one out. I knew local food tasted better, but it seemed expensive and intimidating to seek it out. After the first share, I knew I could never look back. I enjoyed the opportunity to support the local economy, eat with the season, and be challenged to try new recipes. And oh hell yes, the food tastes better than anything in the grocery store.
After a few months of being locked down, I also enjoyed a chance to get out of my apartment. When the pandemic began, we quickly realized we needed to make ourselves go out and drive our cars (the dead car batteries gave us this idea). After doing nothing but staying inside my little home for weeks on end, being rightfully afraid of contact with any other human, I found driving to be overstimulating. So, once a week, having to go drive out in the country to get some beautiful local food, felt like practice in more than one way. I don’t want to be nostalgic for early pandemic - I’m glad to be vaccinated, and boosted, and for the world to have a slightly better understanding of COVID-19 (though, are they acting on that information much? lolsob)! But I also see the discovery of this phenomenon as a turning point that made me this person I am right now, starting a food blog.
I had already subscribed to New York Times Cooking by the time I started getting my shares. I had enjoyed cooking for a long time, but faced with the deep fear of leaving my apartment with no end in sight, I needed something to do. When faced with a new-to-me ingredient, I go right to NYTC.
This recipe is a great example of one of the many things I do with white beans and what the hell to do with pea shoots. This is a lovely complement to something fatty - fish, steak, hot dogs, whatever. The brightness of the miso, shoots, and beans lifts that fattiness to something more complex. It would make a great potluck cookout side especially because it is great at any temperature (well, fine, probably not frozen).
So to summarize: this recipe is rather symbolic of my recent food journey. It makes me happy. Eat it with something fatty and embrace the season’s bounty!