Lamborn Pea Tendrils
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Lamborn Pea tendrils are the young pea shoots, or early stems, of the Lamborn snap pea plant. The stems, leaves and white flowers of the snap pea plant are edible. Lamborn snap peas have delicate, light green stems with oval leaves growing in pairs about every 4 to 6 centimeters along its length. Young, light green leaves are as small as one centimeter in diameter, and the more mature, dark green leaves can grow up to 5 centimeters wide. New stems grow at each leaf node point, developing additional leaf-pairs and small ‘tendrils’ that taper to a point. The hollow stems taper to thin pointed ends. The tops of the Lamborn Pea tendrils are shorter and more tender than other pea varieties, as they grow in more of a bush-like habit versus the vining-habit of a typical snap pea plant. Lamborn Pea tendrils are harvested once they reach a height of between 10 and 20 centimeters. The young pea shoots have a mild pea flavor that is slightly nutty and sweet.
Lamborn pea tendrils are available in the cool seasons, late winter into early summer and again in the fall.
Lamborn Pea tendrils are the young leaves of the pea plant, specifically the Lamborn snap pea. Botanically classified as Psium sativum, the snap pea we are familiar with today was the accidental invention of Calvin Lamborn. Heirloom varieties did exist in the 19th century, but it was Lamborn who helped put snap peas on the world’s vegetable platter after their introduction in 1979. Since the initial introduction of the sugar snap pea, Lamborn has introduced six other snap pea varieties, two of which were bred just for their young shoots. Lamborn Pea tendrils, also known as Lamborn Snap-Greens, were selected for their leafy green foliage, small shoots and lack of spindly tendrils. They will develop pea pods but they aren’t generally suitable for harvest.
Lamborn Pea tendrils are rich in vitamins A and C, and is also a very good source of vitamin K. The leafy greens contain folate, antioxidants and dietary fiber, and are considered highly nutritional. Pea tendrils may also offer some anti-inflammatory benefits.
Lamborn Pea tendrils can be eaten both raw or cooked. The tender pea shoots can be substituted for spinach or other leafy greens in salads or on sandwiches. Lamborn Pea tendrils can be used in place of other micro-greens as a garnish. Use Lamborn Pea tendrils in lieu of basil for a different take on pesto. Lamborn Pea tendrils will hold up well to the heat of cooking. Saute Lamborn Pea tendrils with garlic and serve as a simple side dish or add to pastas, risotto, or stir-fry. Lamborn Pea tendrils are delicate and should be eaten within a few days of purchase. They will keep in the refrigerator for a few days and are best when stored like lettuce.
Until the mid-2000s, pea stems and greens were more commonly found in Chinese cuisine. Though, pea shoots or “pea tips” really weren’t really all that common on Chinese restaurant menus in the United States until the 1990s. In Mandarin, they are called dou miao, and they are often lightly sautéed with garlic or added to soups. Sometime around 2007, the tender pea shoots began appearing as a garnish on plates in New York City’s trendy restaurants. This could very well be a result of Calvin Lamborn’s son living down the street from Michelin star restaurant wd~50, which was open from 2003 to 2014. Chef Wylie Dufresne was the first to use the Lamborn snap peas and pea tendrils on his menu.
Lamborn Pea tendrils were developed in the early 1970s by Dr. Calvin Lamborn, in Twin Falls, Idaho in the United States. Lamborn was attempting to develop a snow pea with a smoother, straighter pod. From a cross between a snow pea and an English shelling pea, Lamborn discovered a “rogue” plant among the resulting offspring. The new pea had a thicker, tighter pod. Ten years of testing and selecting later, and Lamborn had the first sugar snap pea. First introduced in 1979, the sugar snap pea gained recognition as an All-Americas Selection that same year. Since the 1980s, other varieties have been introduced, including a string-less variety. Most Lamborn varieties are controlled by the Lamborn family and are only released to growers under contract with the family’s business. Until around 2014, there were very few growers in the United States contracted to grow Lamborn varieties, the most prominent of which was in Roscoe, New York. Since then, two small farms in Southern California have been contracted to grow the plants, as have farms in Australia and Europe. If not found in home gardens, the Lamborn Pea tendrils can be spotted at local farmer’s markets in select locations.
Recipes that include Lamborn Pea Tendrils. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Good Cheap Eats||Orange and Avocado Salad with Pea Tendrils|