Two Sunday's ago, my husband and I made our way down to the Baltimore Farmer's Market, under the JFX to find a much larger, more intense, more insanely packed version of my beloved Waverly Farmer's Market . While it was a wonderful market, I found a lot of vendors (isn't this the way these markets tend to be in late spring/early summer) to be selling plants and herbs etc. Well, luckily this year, I got my zucchini, squash, heirloom tomato and early girl tomato, and all my herbs planted and underway! We were on the hunt for the "Pea Man" as I call him... a farmer ( I wish I knew which farm he's from; will find that out this weekend) who brings these huge coolers of fresh picked peas that are so sweet and so crisp, that you have to resist eating them raw, from the bag. By the time we found him, there were mere pea remnants on the ground, a reminder of what could have been.... what might have been had I beat all of Baltimore to the market that day.
This past weekend, I redeemed myself, because at my beloved Waverly Farmer's Market, my "Pea Man" was there and still had enough peas for me to get 2lbs of these amazing green orbs of spring. Now, if you don't like peas (they actually happen to be in my top 3 favorite vegetables of all time) I highly recommend you have real, fresh peas. Frozen aren't bad if they are barely thawed, and canned is vegetable blasphemy. I encourage all "pea haters" to revisit them if you have the opportunity to get a few in your hands. The most other pleasant surprise was the bounty of pea shoots (or vine) available, and I figured if you got the pea, you might as well have the shoot too!
Now, on to most important matters... the recipe. Baltimore has been reminiscent of my reading Dante's Inferno, and the heat has been so incredibly intense, that it's hard to be inspired to eat, much less eat something that isn't iced.
I love soba noodles and most Japanese style noodle dishes with such passion, that I decided to whip some up for a lovely and light dish for lunch.
1/2 lb soba noodles, cooked and chilled
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 c pea shoots, chopped roughly
1/3 c fresh peas
1/2 c chilled soy ginger broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 spring onion, chopped fine
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
In a small frying pan, saute the spring onion, pea shoots and garlic in the vegetable oil, about 2 minutes, until the shoots are lightly wilted and the garlic has cooked.
Mix the cooled mixture into the soba noodles, adding the fresh peas, cilantro and red pepper flakes.
To eat, dip a bite of the noodle mixture into the broth, and shovel into your mouth with great intensity. Repeat. (Wear a bib!)