What’s the Difference Between Pea Sprouts, Pea Shoots, and Pea Greens?
Go beyond the pod and take advantage of the various parts of a pea plant.
The spring and early summer is prime time to celebrate peas: In addition to English peas, snow peas, and sugar snap peas, farmers’ and specialty markets increasingly sell the sprouts, shoots, and leaves of the pea plant. The greens are typically harvested from the sugar snap pea plant, though the greenery from all varieties of peas is edible.
These greens can be enjoyed at every stage of their development as they mature from tender shoots that taste of sweet peas to heartier leaves with a grassier flavor. Here’s a guide for what to expect, along with some suggestions for easy ways to enjoy them.
When a pea is sown in soil, it germinates, sending out a single shoot tipped with a pair of leaves called cotyledons. If it’s harvested before it gets any new leaves, when it’s just 1 to 2 inches long, it’s called a sprout, and the entire seed and its sprout is consumed. (Once it gets a pair of true leaves, it’s considered to have graduated from sprouthood.)
What Do Pea Sprouts Taste Like?
Pea sprouts are mild with a subtle pea flavor.
How to Eat Pea Sprouts
Enjoy pea sprouts on sandwiches or burgers or in salads.