We're celebrating Meatless Mondays with balanced, delicious meal plans. We hope you'll join us -- whether you're vegetarian all the time or just here and there.
Today: In honor of Mother's Day, we're keeping it all in the family -- the pea family, that is.
In honor of Mother's Day, dinner tonight is a family affair -- at least among the P. sativum family (a.k.a., the Peas). When the pea plant first grows, it sprouts crisp, slightly sweet pea shoots that are perfect for adding crunch to salads. As it matures, its leaves toughen and the pea blossoms turn into pea pods, where the little green beauties we've been waiting for all spring are nestled.
Tonight, we're taking a cue from mom and not playing favorites. We'll use the young pea shoots as the base of a delicate salad and turn to their more mature sibling to make a springy hummus that begs to be smothered on toasted baguette. And we'll season everything with plenty of lemon -- because what's a family without a little zing?
Serves 4, with extra hummus
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1 1/2 cups green peas (fresh or frozen), lightly steamed
3 tablespoons tahini
2 lemons, zested and juiced
Fresh herbs like dill, parsley, or basil (optional)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 cups densely packed pea shoots
4 cups densely packed baby or wild arugula
Your kitchen is probably stocked with salt and pepper, garlic, olive oil, honey, and vegetable oil. If not, add those to list, too.
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Place the beans, peas, and tahini in a food processor or high-speed blender. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic. Pulse to combine, then blend at regular speed. With the motor running, drizzle in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Keep blending until the ingredients are creamy and smooth. Add more olive oil or water if the mixture is too thick.
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then pulse in 2 teaspoons of lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of chopped herbs, if using.
3. Cut the bread diagonally into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake the bread slices in the oven while you make the salad.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and about 1 tablespoon of lemon zest with the rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon of honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Slowly drizzle in 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
5. Wash and dry the pea shoots and arugula and place them in a large bowl. Add half the dressing, toss gently, and taste. Add more dressing if necessary. Take the bread out of the oven when it’s brown and crispy. Top it with the sweet pea hummus and eat alongside a generous helping of salad.
Photos by James Ransom and Merrill Stubbs