There are a lot of bloggers out there waxing poetic about their local farmers markets. And you know what? They are right. Your local farmers market is magic and supports your local growers and smaller businesses. Yes, yes, local is good and important. But rather than wasting time on an issue that countless others have written about far better than I could, let’s take a different spin and focus on the yummy.
There are several farmers markets in my area, but the one I frequent the most is right on the campus of my workplace. They have a rotating list of vendors, but when Flats Mentor Farm is there, I always make it a priority to stop by their stall. Not only do they have a wonderful mission (you can read about them at their website) but they have a really wonderful variety of produce. Yes, they have the regular seasonal stuff, but they also grow and sell things that other stands don’t. I’m talking about things like squash flowers, pumpkin vines, and the ultimate in yummy-osity: pea tendrils.
Oh baby… Seriously, check out how sexy these little babies are:
And yes, they are exactly what you think they are, tendrils and newer growth from the pea plant. Usually they are only available in the early spring, but Flats Mentor Farm has them quite regulatory throughout the market’s season. My guess is that they grow them in a green house. Regardless, I am so very glad they have them because they are now one of my favorite veggies.
Pea tendrils are very easy to cook and require very little to really bring out their sweetness. Imagine if you will a tender green that tastes like a pea only with a slight bitterness you can sometimes find in leafy greens. I know this is a terrible way to describe it, but they taste very green and fresh.
Pea tendrils can be eaten raw (like in a salad or sandwich) but I prefer to saute them with a bunch of chopped garlic. In fact, this is how you can sometimes find them at Chinese restaurants. But seriously, keep an eye out for these. You’ll thank me. And if not, well…there’s always tater-tots. Everyone likes tater-tots, right?