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This beautiful pea shoot salad complements the delicate greens with toasted pine nuts, dreamy manchego cheese, earthy roasted beets, and a simply perfect dressing. Here’s how to make it.

pea shoot salad with manchego, pine nuts, beets, and red onion in a white bowl
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Why we love this recipe

We all fell in love with pea shoots while living in London, where they’re commonly available in supermarkets. (When I say love, I mean it. Cope now grows them in the basement, and our littlest one eats them by the bagful.) I first put together this lovely pea shoot salad — along with a pot of butternut squash soup — for our friends in their beautiful Toronto kitchen after a visit to the Evergreen Brick Works Farmers’ Market in 2015. It’s got:

  • Slivers of tangy manchego cheese
  • A hint of whisper-thin sliced red onion
  • Creamy, savory, crunchy toasted pine nuts
  • Just enough earthy roasted beets (Adding earthy ingredients to a salad sparingly is a trick I also learned in London)
  • A simple, balanced dressing that ties it all together

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • Pea shoots are the beautiful tendrils that grow from pea plants. As your peas grow, the shoots are ready to harvest in a couple of weeks. You can also grow them on their own as microgreens. They have a delicate texture, and they taste just like peas.
  • Manchego is a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese aged anywhere from two months to two years. I’ve used a younger one here, but you can use whatever type you like. It brings a mild salinity, tanginess, and creaminess to this salad.
  • I’ve included a small amount of diced roasted beets to bulk up the salad and add a hint of earthiness. You can omit them if you prefer. See below for roasting instructions, or buy them roasted and vacuum-sealed from good grocery stores.
  • Grainy mustard contains whole mustard seeds and packs a mild punch. The little bit used in the dressing adds a nice character to the whole salad.

How to make it

Here’s what you’ll do to make a beautiful pea shoot salad. You can see the simple steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Place pea shoots in a wide salad bowl.
  2. Arrange roasted beets, thinly sliced red onion, and toasted pine nuts overtop. (See below to learn how to roast beets and toast pine nuts.)
  3. Use a vegetable peeler to shave some manchego onto the salad.
  4. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the salad. Toss lightly if you like — I usually don’t. Serve right away.
pea shoot salad on a blue plate
Original 2015 iPhone photo of pea shoot salad on a Toronto cottage porch

Expert tips and FAQs

What should I substitute if I can’t find pea shoots?

Pea shoots are really something special, and they’re worth seeking out. But if you can’t find them, this salad would be great with baby spinach or — to take it in a different direction with a stronger flavor but similar texture — watercress.

How do you roast beets?

My favorite way to roast beets couldn’t be simpler. Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center. Trim any greens and long stems off beets and wash well but don’t dry. Wrap beets in foil. You can wrap small beets together. Place in a roasting pan and roast until a fork pierces them easily, without much resistance. Let cool and then peel. Sometimes they’re very easy to peel with your hands, other times a vegetable peeler works best.

How do you toast pine nuts?

I usually toast pine nuts over medium heat in a small, dry pan, tossing or stirring frequently, until light brown in spots and very fragrant. Since you’ll already have the oven on to roast the beets for this recipe, you could also spread them out on a rimmed sheet pan and pop them into the oven for a few minutes, watching carefully, until lightly browned.

Can I make this salad in advance?

Pea shoots are very delicate, so don’t assemble the salad in advance. You can certainly roast the beets, toast the pine nuts, and make the dressing ahead of time. After that, the salad comes together in just a few minutes.

More favorite light springtime starters

pea shoot salad with manchego, pine nuts, beets, and red onion in a white bowl

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pea shoot salad with manchego, pine nuts, beets, and red onion in a white bowl
5 from 7 votes

Pea Shoot Salad with Pine Nuts and Manchego

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Back in 2015, I put together a little Sunday lunch from the farmers' market with friends. A classic butternut squash and apple soup along with this salad of pea shoots, roasted beets, pine nuts, and manchego. We've made both recipes many times since and hope you'll love them too.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients 

For the salad

  • 4 big, unruly handfuls pea shoots
  • 2 small cooked beets, peeled and diced
  • small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ ounces (45 grams) Manchego cheese
  • ½ cup (60 grams) pine nuts

For the dressing

  • 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil

Instructions 

  • Place pine nuts into a small, dry pan and set over medium heat. Toast, tossing or stirring frequently, until light brown in spots and very fragrant. See note 6 below if you’d like to roast your own beets, and note 7 for an alternative method of toasting the pine nuts in the oven.
  • Place pea shoots into a wide salad bowl.
  • Arrange roasted beets, thinly sliced red onion, and toasted pine nuts overtop. (See below to learn how to roast beets and toast pine nuts.)
  • Use a vegetable peeler to shave some manchego onto the salad.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the salad. Toss lightly if you like — I usually don’t. Serve right away.

Notes

  1. Pea shoots are the beautiful tendrils that grow from pea plants. As your peas grow, the shoots are ready to harvest in a couple of weeks. You can also grow them on their own as microgreens. They have a delicate texture, and they taste just like peas.
  2. Pea shoots are really something special, and they’re worth seeking out. But if you can’t find them, this salad would be great with baby spinach or — to take it in a different direction with a stronger flavor but similar texture — watercress.
  3. Manchego is a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese aged anywhere from two months to two years. I’ve used a younger one here, but you can use whatever type you like. It brings a mild salinity, tanginess, and creaminess to this salad.
  4. I’ve included a small amount of diced roasted beets to bulk up the salad and add a hint of earthiness. You can omit them if you prefer. See below for roasting instructions, or buy them roasted and vacuum-sealed from good grocery stores.
  5. Grainy mustard contains whole mustard seeds and packs a mild punch. The little bit used in the dressing adds a nice character to the whole salad.
  6. My favorite way to roast beets couldn’t be simpler. Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center. Trim any greens and long stems off beets and wash well but don’t dry. Wrap beets in foil. You can wrap small beets together. Place in a roasting pan and roast until a fork pierces them easily, without much resistance. Let cool and then peel. Sometimes they’re very easy to peel with your hands, other times a vegetable peeler works best.
  7. If you’ll already have the oven on to roast the beets for this recipe, you could toast the pine nuts by spreading them out on a rimmed sheet pan and popping them into the oven for a few minutes, watching carefully, until lightly browned.
  8. Pea shoots are very delicate, so don’t assemble the salad in advance. You can certainly roast the beets, toast the pine nuts, and make the dressing ahead of time. After that, the salad comes together in just a few minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 244kcal, Carbohydrates: 13.3g, Protein: 6.2g, Fat: 19.9g, Fiber: 4.4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salads + Bowls
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

5 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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