By Eugenia Bone from THE KITCHEN ECOSYSTEM
I have served this surprisingly rich salad as a second course after a pasta dish, on top of a piece of broiled fish, and garnished with croutons: they’re all good! When choosing pea shoots, look for small pale leaves with plenty of thin, curling tendrils. Avoid large stemmy pea shoots, which are tougher. But if you do find them in the market with very long stems you can cut the stems off and throw them in the stockpot. Save the asparagus ends or peels for Asparagus Stock.
1½ cups shelled fresh peas (about 1 pound in the shell)
12 thick spears asparagus, trimmed
1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
½ teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 whole anchovy (see Note), chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ pound pea shoots
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
In a pot of boiling water, cook the peas until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.
Using a very sharp knife (or a mandolin if you have one) cut the asparagus into very thin slivers on an angle. Raw asparagus must be very thinly sliced to be palatable. Rub the garlic clove around the inside of a wooden bowl. Add the mustard powder and lemon juice. Mix until the mustard powder dissolves. Add the anchovy and combine well.
Add the oil, mixing all the while. Add the peas, asparagus, and pea shoots and toss in the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss with the Parmesan cheese.
Note: I prefer whole anchovies cured in salt, which you can find in Italian markets. Soak them for 10 minutes to remove the salt, then rinse and fillet them. You don’t have to get all the bones, just the spine.
Eugenia Bone is a cook and author whose stories and recipes have appeared in publications including The New York Times Magazine, Saveur and Food & Wine. She is also the author of 5 books. Visit Eugenia’s blog at TheKitchenEcosystem.com.