Does anything scream spring more than this dish of stir-fried pea tendrils? Scott and I couldn’t think of a better way to greet the end of chilly damp days than with this super-fresh, super-green stir-fry of greens and beans. Trust us – when you walk into the market and are confronted with produce this incredible, a simple stir-fry is the way to go.
We had some family in town over the weekend, and a trip to Little Goat Diner was a must-do on their Chicago hit list. Aside from there always being something for everyone, what I love about Little Goat is that it’s a playground of indulgent, over-the-top ideas, all in a diner setting. While a lot of the dishes are greasy-spoon standards done right (their pastrami sandwich is…on another level), it’s the unexpected that always catches my eye and ends up on my plate. Case in point: the inspiration for today’s pea tips.
Stephanie Izard, the genius behind Little Goat always inspires me with her deft ability to incorporate Asian flavors in surprising ways; I guess that’s why she recently trounced some serious competition to become the next Iron Chef, beating even Iron Chef Morimoto at his own game. A simple vinaigrette of fish sauce, lemon, ginger, mustard, Sriracha and soy bring out the natural sweetness of the ingredients, all without overpowering them. This dish comes together in a snap, and is the perfect accompaniment to a light spring dinner, Asian or not. I hope you’ll give it a try, and then revisit it again later in the summer with other veggies, too! Japanese eggplant, bok choy, broccolini or green beans would all be phenomenal.
For the Stir-fry:
1 bunch watercress
1 bunch pea tendrils
1 bunch ramp greens, roughly chopped (reserve whites for another use)
1/3 lb fava beans, shelled
1/4 lb snap peas, sliced thinly on the diagonal
Fried Shallots, to garnish
For the Fish Sauce Vinaigrette:
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp grated ginger
Whisk all the ingredients for the vinaigrette together in a small bowl and set aside. Heat a wok or large straight-sided skillet over high heat. Once a drop of water sizzles on contact, add 1 tbsp of grape seed oil and swirl to coat. Next add favas and stir-fry for 2 minutes until softened and slightly browned. Then add snap peas, stirring for another 2 minutes. Lastly, add remaining greens, stir, and swirl in sauce. Continue to cook briefly, just until the greens cook down.
Toss the greens to coat, and switch off the heat. If any sauce remains, spoon it over top. Plate with fried shallots and more lemon, if desired. This dish is super flexible, so feel free to serve it warm or cold!