Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pea Shoots with Shrimp, Bacon, and Chives

Pea Shoots with Shrimp, Bacon, and Chives

This winter in Southern California has been beyond strange. Towards the end of December we experienced cold temperatures and above average rain. For much of January and February, the temps hovered around 80 degrees and then all of a sudden, Mother Nature seemed to remember it was winter and last week brought back cold temps, rain, and even snow in parts of LA. Clearly, this has affected the growing season. Pea shoots are normally an early spring delicacy, but I've been seeing them at the farmers markets for at least a month now. I finally decided to pick some up and try this easy salad. I'm a new fan of pea shoots after this. I love their delicate, vaguely spinach tasting flavor. Apparently I'm not the only one of this opinion because people were snatching them up at the market. Sweet shrimp and crisp, salty bacon are a great pairing with the shoots and the sweet and sour dressing brings it all together. I'm now on the hunt for more pea shoot recipes. If you have any good ones, send them my way!

Pea Shoots with Shrimp, Bacon, and Chives

Pea Shoots with Shrimp, Bacon, and Chives
(Adapted from Saveur and Serious Eats)

Makes 2 servings

10 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
3 strips bacon, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces pea shoots
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped

Fill a bowl with cold water and ice and set aside.Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add a good pinch of salt to the water, then add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp turn pink, about two minutes. Drain and transfer the shrimp to the ice bath. Let sit until cold, drain, and set aside.

Clean out the saucepan and return it to the stove. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, over medium-high heat until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on towels. Leave about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pan.

Add the shallots to the pan and cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar, mustard, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cook until the dressing is hot, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and add the pea shoots to the saucepan. Toss to combine with the dressing and until the pea shoots have wilted slightly.

Divide the pea shoots between plates. Top with shrimp, bacon, chives, and tarragon.

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Erica said...

The weather this winter seems to just be nutty everywhere! This salad screams spring though :) And I love shrimp on top of salads. Hope you're doing well!

olga @mangotomato said...

it looks so pretty and spring-y and of course I love the addition of bacon!

also, I like the new wood surface for the photos ;)

lisa is cooking said...

I love pea shoots, but they're not easy to find here. They look great with the shrimp, and the warm dressing sounds fantastic.

susan said...

I need this for lunch today. Any leftovers?

The Food Librarian said...

Just so lovely!!!

Unknown said...

you're already seeing pea shoots??? jealous. this looks amazing :)

Joanne said...

Pea shoots are one green that I've never had but you've convinced me to try it with your description of this salad! Hook, line and sinker baby.

Unknown said...

Ohh I love this recipe.

Lo said...

We're fortunate to have great sources for pea shoots, even in the middle of winter here in Wisconsin (thank goodness for urban organic farms that grow greens!). This looks like the perfect solution for the winter doldrums!

Diana said...

Is this why Raul wants to nickname you pea shoot?

vanillasugarblog said...

no more pretzels? i said last year around this time, i had not tried pea shoots. and here we are again, and i still haven't tried them. lol
but then again we have no farmers markets here just SNOW.

La Bella Cooks said...

Perfect way to celebrate the warming weather. I need to keep an eye out for some pea shoots.

marla said...

Such a simple, fresh and pretty salad. Perfect for warmer weather ahead.

Kelly said...

I agree. The weather is so nutty. This looks gorgeous though. Bring on spring!

Monika said...

What a gorgeous looking salad! All that lovely bright green is distracting me from the grey Canadian winter outside my window!

Banana Wonder said...

The poor (and delicious) confused plants not knowing what time of the season it is. I've never had pea shoots - I'm gonna look out for them at the Portland Farmer's markets... spring isn't for at least another month here!

Unknown said...

oh delicious, prawns are my favourite

Kristen said...

Always looking for new shrimp recipes! What a delicious salad.