Sauteed pea greens—cooked quickly and simply—are a wonderful way to use the tender young vines of pea plants. Look for pea greens at farmers markets and specialty or health stores. At farmers markets they are often available from farmers specializing in Asian produce, and you'll see them in big jumbled piles of twisty vines piles together next to the other, tamer and better behaved greens. At grocery stores they are more likely to be packaged in easier-to-manage plastic bags. Use them soon after buying them (within a day or two); the vines are fairly sturdy but the leaves attached to them are not and will start to wilt before too long.
- Trim off and discard any tough ends of the pea green vines. If the vines are particularly long or cumbersome, go ahead and chop them into smaller pieces. Know, however, part of the fun of eating pea greens can be in twirling the greens onto a fork or lifting one vine out of a pile with chopsticks and detangling them as you eat.
- Rinse the trimmed pea greens in cool water—either under running water or in a large bowl or basin in which you can swish the greens around to loosen any dirt or grit. Lift the greens out of the water (leaving the dirt and grit behind) and shake off excess water. Don't bother to pat or spin dry, you want a bit of water clinging to the vines.
- If you want to add a bit of extra flavor, trim and mince the green onion or green garlic.
- Heat a very large frying pan or a wok over high heat. Add whatever oil you're using.
- Once the pan or wok is hot, add the green onion or green garlic, if you're using one, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the pea greens, with that bit of water still clinging to them, and cook, stirring frequently, until the pea greens wilt and soften, about 3 minutes.
- Season the greens to taste with salt. Drizzle with a bit of high quality extra-virgin olive oil (lemon-infused oil is particularly lovely on pea greens) and add a squirt of lemon juice, if you like.
- Drizzle with soy sauce and toasted sesame oil at the end
- Use freshly grate ginger along with the green onion or green garlic
- Add about 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest at the end