The other day a dear friend came over to my apartment to spend the morning with me. She was interested in seeing how I work - the creative process of developing a recipe through styling and photographing. The way I work is a bit scattered and improvisational at times and I certainly gave her a show! I had made some tentative plans to cook and photograph a few different things but instead I started chatting and we only made it through one salad. Ha! This Pea Shoot and Stone Fruit Salad with Brie and Walnuts is something we came up with together. And boy, was it fun.
One of the ways I start coming up with salad recipes is to pull some ingredients out of the cupboard or fridge and think about which ingredients would go well together. Some combinations are better than others, I’m the first to admit that! Some totally fail and others are pure magic.
I had a tub of pea shoots in my fridge. I love them. They are so fresh and crunchy with a delicate pea flavor. Not to mention they are super healthy. I also had some goat brie and an assortment of stone fruit – one green plum, one pretty spotted rose pluot, and a juicy nectarine. It needed another texture component and that’s where raw walnuts from my other friend’s tree came in. (I have been hoarding them since last fall!) For the dressing, I wanted something that wouldn’t overpower the flavor of the fruit and pea shoots. I chose a simple honey wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil drizzle. Fancy, fancy. :) Good ingredients = good salads.
Verdict? This salad was pretty tasty, but we both agreed that these particular pea shoots could have been more tender. The stalks were kind of tough. So, if you can’t find really good pea shoots (like the ones in this salad) then maybe swap them out for arugula or baby spinach or microgreens. That’s not to say the salad wasn’t delicious or enjoyable. It was! I loved the flavor of peas combined with the stone fruit. It was kind of a happy accident. Full disclosure? Sometimes I pick things that look pretty over things I think will taste good together. And that maybe happened with this salad….
After we were done taking the pictures – it takes a lot longer than you think – we sat down to enjoy our salad. The best part of food, for me, is sharing it with people I care about. I loved sharing this salad with my friend and my husband. We sat and chatted about film, literature and music. It was a very enriching day for mind and body.
- 4-6 ounces organic pea shoots
- 1 pluot, cut into thin wedges
- 1 green plum, cut into thin wedges
- 1 nectarine, cut into thin wedges
- 2-4 ounces brie, cut into thin wedges (use more or less according to your preference)
- ½ cup fresh walnuts, roughly chopped or crushed
- 2 Tablespoons honey wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar mixed with a little honey)
- 2 Tablespoons best quality extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, optional
- Divide the pea shoots between four salad plates. Top with a few slices of each of the stone fruits and brie. Sprinkle with the fresh walnuts and drizzle with a little vinegar and oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired.
Note: I got my organic pea shoots at Trader Joe's. Also be sure to check the farmers market. Or you can grow your own!
Other recipes using pea shoots:
Spicy Asian Slaw Summer Rolls The View from Great Island
Shrimp and Mint Summer Rolls with Coconut Sauce from The View from Great Island
Pea Shoot Tartine from A Couple Cooks
Salmon with Sweet Chili Glaze, Sugar Snap Peas and Pea Tendrils from Culinary Covers