Pesto Potato Salad with Pea Shoots

At our first CSA pick-up on Memorial Day, we were given the option of taking home kale or pea shoots.  Right away, Joey’s answer was “KALE!”  We know kale, we’re comfortable with kale.  But upon second glance at the pea shoots, with all their leaves and those adorable curly-q “pea tendrils,” we immediately changed our minds.  We just had no idea what to do with it.

I went to Foodgawker for some inspiration, came across a picture of a pesto potato salad with pea shoots and was sold.  Not that Joey is a picky eater at all but I also knew he would approve of this idea especially because he loves white potatoes and because I rarely buy them,– I’m a devout sweet potato-atarian — this would be a great chance to get his white potato fix.

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Pesto Pasta Salad with Pea Shoots

For the pesto:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh arugula (we used the baby variety)
  • 1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Place garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add basil, arugula, nuts, salt and pepper and process until combined, then stream in olive oil, broth and lemon juice until mostly smooth.

*This makes about 1/2 cup of pesto, so you will have some leftover after making the potato salad.  Use it on pasta or pizza!

**This time around (maybe Joey was a little heavy handed with the lemon juice :P), our pesto turned out a little thin, but that made it perfect for the potato salad, as you usually need to thin pesto out before mixing it with other things.  If your pesto turns out thicker, just add a bit more vegetable broth.

For the potato salad:

  • 1 lb. small potatoes, cut into small chunks (we used Yukon Golds, but you could use anything, even fingerlings!)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch pea shoots, remove thick stems and thoroughly chop remaining bunch
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet, toss potatoes, olive oil and salt, then roast for 30-ish minutes or until potatoes are soft and golden.
  3. In a bowl, toss pea shoots, pesto and roasted potatoes.

Really, this potato salad could not have been easier, or more flavorful.  Side note: pea shoots taste exactly like snap peas and we may or may not have been tossing it in our mouths during the entire production of this dish.  Pea shoot season is very short so if you are lucky enough to snag some this year, I really recommend this recipe.  I also recommend that you pack it up and take it on a picnic.

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