Pea Tendril and Daikon Noodle Salad
When I first bought the book Vegan YumYum by Lauren Ulm at the insistence of my good friend J, one of the first recipes to jump out at me was the Pea Tendril and Daikon Noodle Salad, the picture alone had me salivating. Yet, I hadn’t any idea what the hell pea tendrils were let alone where to get a bunch. Never in my life – either here or back in Vancouver – had I seen such a thing for sale, so I was at a complete loss as to where to look for them. Certain that my local groceries wouldn’t have them – yet checking every time anyway to no avail – I finally after about a week gave up my dreams of Pea Tendril and Daikon.
Then the Sunday before last I was doing my grocery shopping, as I do every Sunday night. I was searching high and low for a head of romaine lettuce to use to make a Caesar Salad the next day, but they appeared to be out. All that was left was iceberg and red leaf, neither of which would do at all. Then just as I was turning away in defeat, something seemed to jump up into my peripheral vision. Something small and green, that I didn’t immediately recognize. Almost hidden between large overflowing bunches of cilantro, and large clumps of watercress. I walked over to the far right corner of the produce section and looked down at a bunch of delicate tender leaves, oval shaped with dainty points at their ends. I picked up a bunch, examined it, and still unable to discern it’s species I flipped up the tag and read those sweet lovely words ‘Living Pea Tendrils’ Amazed and giddy I stuffed the bunch gently into a bag tied it up and grabbed myself a daikon radish as I left the produce section.
Now for the salad itself. It’s very simple, but delicious! I truly can’t believe I’d never eaten pea tendrils before. To me they tasted like something of a cross between peas, spinach and alfalfa sprouts. All things I love. I thought that so much radish might give the salad a bitter, or spicy twinge but it didn’t, and combined with the mellow Asian inspired dressing the meal was so incredible I nearly rushed back to the store and filled a whole cart with pea tendrils and daikon radish! Instead though I piled my plate high, polished the whole thing off, and felt immensely satisfied for the remainder of the day.
This is definitely a seasonal salad though. Pea tendrils if they appear in stores at all do so only during mid May- to mid-June. So next time you’re picking up your groceries, if you see them, don’t even hesitate to pick them up and give this magnificent salad a try.
*** Note: Gluten-Free only if using Wheat-Free Tamari Soy Suace ***