Pea Shoot Pesto

1/4 lb fresh, young pea shoots
1 bunch Spring onion, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts

to serve:
1 lb hot cooked pasta
3/4 lb peeled, steamed shrimp (optional)
garnish: additional pea shoots

Place the pea shoots, onion, cheese, olive oil, pinenuts salt and pepper in a food processor or blender, pulse until a thick paste forms. Toss with 1 lb cooked pasta, additional pea shoots and shrimp.

Yield: about 4 servings

My thoughts:

You can’t get a quicker meal during the warm weather months than pesto. In this version, verdant pea shoots (or pea greens or pea vines depending on what you want to call them) combine with the Spring onions to create the freshest tasting pesto I’ve ever had. It is mild but intensely flavorful. The shrimp isn’t 100% needed, but they do add a little texture interest (and little bursts of flavor!) to the dish.

Quick notes about the ingredients:
Pea shoots or pea greens are the top parts of the pea plant. For this dish, use only young, tender shoots. More mature (and fibrous) pea shoots (often found in Asian markets) need to be cooked before eating. Pea shoots taste sort of like the pod part of snow peas.

Spring onions have a larger, more rounded and defined bulb than green onions or scallions, but either of those would be an adequate substitute if Spring onions are unavailable.


  1. yum, looks good!

  2. Neat idea! We just made a tasty salad with sunflower shoot. Good to have another recipe for shoots.

  3. Sweet and Savory Eats

    I’m so glad I saw this. I got pea shoots in my CSA box last week and wasn’t feeling too creative. So, I just sauteed them with garlic and olive oil. Tasted fine, but kind of boring. I’ll have to try this if we get pea shoots again.

  4. great photos! so vibrant and edible 🙂

  5. What a lovely idea- have to put some pea shoots growin 🙂

  6. Sheila @ Dr

    So pretty. I love the shrimp all pink and petite on the peas!

  7. That looks amazing, excellent photography.

  8. Beautiful fresh green color. Too pretty to eat. Pesto is always my “go to” meal- nice to have other recipes than just basil.

  9. Brilliant color! This is definitely a recipe I’m going to try. Absolutely perfect for summer! Thanks for sharing! It looks just lovely!

  10. Thanks for the recipe. All my life I stir fry pea shoots without thinking, as it is always the way we eat them. I like your brilliant idea and will share it with friends!


  11. That is one gorgeous green color you’ve got going on there. Nice dish!

  12. Made this last night with whole wheat pasta, and it was fantastic! The flavor was so light and summery, and just the right amount of cheese and oil so it wasn’t heavy. Didn’t have shrimp on hand, but that would be a great addition.

  13. I can’t get over how great and vibrant your photo looks – love the recipe!

  14. I made this last night and had to come back to tell you how delicious this was. THANK YOU!