Strawberries and Pea Shoot Toasts

Wednesdays, in Seattle summers, are organic market days. The cobblestone road outside the Pike Place Market gets blocked off to traffic, and organic farms set-up their stands with all organic, locally grown produce. Sure, the rest of the Pike Place market is teeming too, with other fresh ingredients and flowers a plenty, but not all of that is local or organic. This early in the year, the number of organic stands and the variety of their offerings are still pretty small, but that’s no worry. There is still plenty of early season deliciousness to choose from… fruits and greens that I’ve been longing for now for months.

Yesterday, I picked up a basket of beautiful organic strawberries and a big bundle of pea shoots. Today, I played with them.

The flavors go so well together if you just barely wilt the pea shoots in some olive oil, and give the strawberries a slice. They are fantastic served as little tarts with some pepper jelly and flake salt, or simply tossed together as a salad with a drizzle of balsamic syrup.

For the pepper jelly, it is easy to make your own or you can just use store bought.

Strawberry and Pea Shoot Toasts
makes 3 toasts

1 piece of bread, crust removed
3 pea shoots
1 t pepper jelly
3 small strawberries
olive oil
flake sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the bread into three rectangles. Place the bread on a parchment lined baking sheet, and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the edges become golden brown (the bottoms will be darker). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Prepare the pea shoots by washing well, and then removing any thick or tough stems, preserving the leaves. Heat a saute pan with a splash of olive oil a bit, and add the pea shoots. Give them a little toss to coat them in the oil. Saute for about 1 minute, or until the leaves start to become a slightly darker green.

Remove the stem from the strawberries and slice into quarters or eighths.

Spread a bit of the pepper jelly on the toast. Pile on a wilted pea shoot, top with the strawberries and sprinkle on a few flakes of salt.


Pepper Jelly

(adapted from Happy in the Kitchen, Michel Richard)
makes about 1/2 cup

1 medium anaheim chile, seeded and minced
1/4 cup sweet onion, minced
1 T lemon juice
2 t sugar
2 t cider vinegar
1 t pectin liquid

Combine all ingredients except the pectin in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring to keep from burning. Increase heat and add the pectin. Bring back to a boil. Then, reduce heat again, and simmer for 4 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat and cool. Keeps refrigerated for about 3 days.

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  • http://workingwomanfood.blogspot.com/ Deborah

    My mother-in-law just brought over a huge bucket of strawberries from her garden and I am looking forward to using them. Yours look perfect!

  • http://www.latartinegourmande.com Bea at La Tartine Gourmande

    Gorgeous photos and light Lara. I want to dive in to grab them!

  • http://www.lifetonic.blogspot.com ashley anne

    I love the market too. So many locals I know refuse to go there as they consider it a tourist trap, but I still go every week to pick up a bag full of fresh produce from the local farms. What a treat!

    I agree that your lighting is perfect! I am in Seattle too and these last couple of overcast and rainy days are convincing me that I will need to buy some lighting sooner than later!

    Thanks for the lovely post!

  • http://justmydinner.blogspot.com/ Mar

    What do anaheim chiles look like?

    Now I’m wishing I had a sunny backyard so I could grow strawberries…

  • http://www.cookandeat.com/ L

    Thanks Deborah!

    Bea – I felt like I was channeling you when I was making these… they seem like something that would be so you!

    Ashley – Thanks! The lighting, btw, is all natural, even though the day was overcast. There’s still plenty of light if you use a tripod.

    Mar – Anaheim chiles are the longish green ones… the ones you use to make New Mexico style green chile. But, you can really use any kind of chile you like.

    -L

  • http://desertcandy.blogspot.com Mercedes

    I’ve got an overflow of pea shoots (we’ve been simply steaming them and tossing with some sesame oil), and we always keep some pepper jelly in the fridge, so I’ll have to try this.

  • http://foodandphotos.com Jerry

    Hmmmm… Yummy. That would be good with raspberries!

  • http://www.stuffyerbake.co.uk Sarah Bell

    What an interesting combination!. Fab photos

  • http://icecreamireland.com/ Kieran

    Stunning shots, as always. Great flavour combination as well. I love when strawberries are in season!

  • http://nookandpantry.blogspot.com/ Amy

    I love Pike Place! I usually get pea shoots at the local asian grocery store but I’ll have to keep an eye out for them at Pike Place. The strawberries look delicious.

  • http://www.salistudio.com Natasha

    Love the red and green combo. Beautifull like in the nature just on tost.

  • http://www.gagatkasenses.blogspot.com gagatka

    Combination is lovely – so surprising and bold, yet so refreshing!!!

  • http://thehungerseattle.blogspot.com Stephen

    Beautiful photos. I love the market on Wednesdays in the summer. Now that we have the Capitol Hill farmers market I don’t go as often. I’ll have to try the toasts though. They sound great.

  • http://foodandpaper.blogspot.com Sarah

    I just discovered your blog(s…Tell me about photo inspiration! Some day I’m going to have to learn how to actually work a camera.

    As for the strawberries and pea shoots, this is exactly the combination I’ve been receiving in my Community Supported Agriculture box here in Pittsburgh for the past two weeks…I had an inkling that the two might do well together, but failed to do anything about it. Another pea shoot saute followed by strawberry ice cream for dessert. Not bad at all, but not so adventurous. I’m going to try the little toasts…maybe with a smathering of good ricotta beneath the shoots. I’ll be checking in regularly!

  • http://canarygirl.vox.com nikki

    :O Will you adopt me, please? Everything looks amazing!

  • UWSParent

    I was inspired by your post and the 10 pounds of strawberries I picked with my family this weekend. Playing on the idea of melon and prosciutto I layered paper thin slices of prosciutto on a plate, then mounded on a heap of freshly sliced strawberries seasoned with a bit of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Some beautiful bright green mache topped everything off. Just before serving I drizzled the whole mess with some fruity green olive oil and a syrupy reduction of balsamic. My guests and I thank you ever so much for the inspiration. Alas, I didn’t take a photo!

  • http://chewonthat.blogspot.com Jim

    There’s a combination I’d never think of! I’m gonna keep a close eye on this blog–and since my friends are going strawberry picking tomorrow, maybe I can try out this recipe soon! GORGEOUS pictures, too.

  • http://fairlyoddmother.blogspot.com Fairly Odd Mother

    Mmmmmm. . . I’m eating this recipe right now! It is such an interesting combination that tastes awesome together. Thanks!