Bay Leaf Kitchen & Elianna’s Minted Spring Pea Dip

Elianna's Minted Spring Pea Dip

Image: Bay Leaf Kitchen

Simran and I have found a foodie soulmate in Elianna Friedman. In addition to being the woman behind CUESA’s Foodwise Kids program, she’s an inspired chef, seasonal food goddess and a wonderful teacher. She’s doing some really, really cool stuff to engage kids in learning about where food comes from and eating with the seasons which we wanted to share …. and she also passed along this tasty recipe to celebrate spring: an easy dip that combines pea shoots, mint and cool tangy yogurt. I’ve got some enthusiastic dippers in my family and we can’t wait to make this one!

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Bay Leaf Kitchen

Simran and I met Elianna through her work on CUESA’s Foodwise Kids program. It’s an engaging field trip experience where elementary school groups from all over San Francisco visit the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market — the kids get to shop the market (tasting and talking to the farmers along the way), then head to the CUESA kitchen to create a snack with Elianna from what they purchased. It’s all about empowering kids and sparking curiosity. For many of the kids, this is a totally new experience — a chance to get closer to where food comes from, to taste new foods, or to try foods they already know in new ways.

We were thrilled to hear that in addition to her continuing work on Foodwise Kids, Elianna is launching her own new venture called Bay Leaf Kitchen which will enable her to reach even more kids with an even deeper engagement about food. Her first Bay Leaf Kitchen project is a summer camp that combines a week of hands-on cooking and an overnight farm stay. How totally cool is that? Her program is geared for 9-12 year olds, so if you know of any budding foodies in that age group, do check it out! Session 1 is June 16-20, and Session II is July 21-25… click here for full details and to register.

…. and here’s Elianna’s recipe for a gorgeous, green dip featuring sweet, tender pea shoots. The recipe is so easy that the kids can probably make this one all on their own and then have fun choosing their favorite veggies for dipping. The beauty of this dip is that it also doubles as a dressing, or even as a spring-y pesto to top pasta or crostini.

Elianna's Minted Spring Pea Dip_Ingredients

Elianna’s Minted Spring Pea Dip

  • 1 bunch pea leaves, washed and rough chopped
  • 15-20 mint leaves, washed and picked
  • 1/2 cup unsalted almonds (You can substitute almost any other kind of nut or sunflower seeds)*
  • ¾ cup plain yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Add almonds and mint to food processor and pulse 5-10 times until finely chopped.
  2. Add pea leaves to food processor and puree for 20 seconds.
  3. Pour into a medium bowl and fold in yogurt, salt and pepper.  Taste, adjust seasoning and enjoy with your favorite dipping vegetables.

* If you omit the nuts I would recommend adding 2 tablespoons of honey instead because the nuts add some sweetness.

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