Every so often, a new ingredient gains popularity and you wonder why no one was cooking with it sooner. That’s how I feel about pea shoots. They have that fresh, just-picked flavor and pleasant cool crunch — similar to bean sprouts. When I saw a package of them in Trader Joe’s I couldn’t wait to try them out.
I wasn’t disappointed. As a longtime fan of sprouts of all kinds, these are pea shoots are just up my alley. I think they would be awesome in sandwiches too. But, my first experiment with them was to make Grilled Quesadillas with Pea Shoots.
Grilling quesadillas is easy to do. You start with a hot grill. It should be well-preheated (I made mine after grilling chicken, so it had been on and heated for awhile). Then you toss the tortillas on, cover them with cheese and other toppings and close with another tortilla.Then, they just cook on the grill in about 5 minutes or so (yes, you have to flip them once).
It’s super easy, and since there is no butter or oil on the tortillas, they are a little better for you than the traditional pan-made ones. Serve them as an appetizer or side dish with dinner.
One more really fun idea for this: A grilled quesadilla party. Invite a bunch of friends over and offer a variety of fillings and cheeses. Everyone can design their own and grill it up in a few minutes. It would be a great summer gathering, and you could totally celebrate summer’s freshest bounty by offering a bunch of farmers market veggies to stuff the quesadillas with.
Have you had pea shoots? Did you like them?
- 4 flour tortillas, medium sized
- Mexican cheese blend, I bought mine at Trader Joe's
- Pea shoots
- Preheat your grill on its medium setting or prepare charcoals for grilling.
- Once the grill is hot, lay out two of the tortillas on the grates and cover generously with cheese. Top with a layer of pea shoots (I like to use a lot) and the remaining tortillas.
- Close the grill lid and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until lightly browned and slightly puffed. The quesadillas will unpuff as they cool.
- Serve with your favorite salsa.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.