Pea Shoot Spring Salad + Recipes for the Week of April 2, 2012

by Julie

The desert is in bloom. Cacti are flowering and wild herbs are starting to sprout. As we go throughout the neighborhood, we notice evidence of spring cleanings: piles of brush, stacks of old boards or cabinet doors, even beds leaned up against mail boxes, waiting for the Salvation Army truck to come by for pick-up. Arrows on signs point left and right: “Yard Sale,” “Garage Sale,” “Moving Sale.” And we plunder.  Two hand-woven grass area rugs from an estate sale, each $5.00. A ten-dollar red wheel barrel.

We walk barefoot inside, and slip into open-toed shoes during the morning as we head out to water our potted herbs and tomato plant.

The change in weather shifts our appetites, too. We start to craze cool foods and salads. So for lunch one day this weekend we tossed lettuce with bell pepper, carrots, purple spring onions, avocado and pea shoots. We took two forks and ate straight from the bowl.

Monday, April 2: Carrot, Dill, and White Bean Salad (from 101 Cookbooks)


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots

more olive oil for cooking
2 cups sliced carrots, cut 1/4-inch thick 
3 cups cooked white beans
scant 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or honey)
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Tuesday, April 3: Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette (from Adrienneats)


1 bunch of kale, chiffonade
6-8 brussels sprouts, grated
1 celery stalk, small dice (.25 in)
1 carrot, small dice (.25 in)
half of a small red onion or shallot, sliced thin
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon walnut oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
dash of salt and pepper
1/4 c toasted pine nuts

Wednesday, April 4: Coconut Curry Noodle Pot (from Two Blue Lemons)


8 ounces dried rice Asian-style wide noodles
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste
12 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into thumb-sized slices
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
2 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons shoyu sauce
1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
Juice 1 lime
2/3 cup peanuts, roughly chopped
1/3 cup slivered shallots
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Thursday, April 5: Spring Vegetable Risotto (from Vegetarian Times)
2 ½ tsp. olive oil
2 small fennel bulbs, chopped (2 cups)
8 green onions, chopped (1 cup)
1 small leek, white and light green parts chopped (1 cup)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
3 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup chopped fresh mixed herbs, such as dill, tarragon, and basil, divided