Pea Shoots with Browned Butter

Pea Shoots with Browned Butter

When butter is browned, it takes on a warm, nutty flavor perfect for the nuttiness of the tender pea shoots. This lightly cooked vegetable would be tasty aside roast chicken, or graceful underneath a filet of grilled fish.  Enjoy this rare treat.

Serves 4 as a side.


  • 1 large bunch of fresh pea shoots
  • 3 Tbs. European style butter
  • salt and pepper to taste



Wash and trim the pea shoots, removing tough stems or lower portions. The best parts of the pea shoots are very tender. If you cannot pierce and break the stem easily with your finger nail and thumb, it’s tougher than you want for this preparation. Snip with kitchen shears into 2″ segments and set aside.

Select the highest quality butter you can find. We like Plugra brand, but if you can find it, Organic Valley’s pastured, cultured, organic butter is the best. Watch out for sticker shock, but truck me, using just a few tablespoons of high quality butter is worth it for such a delicacy as pea shoots. In a heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and swirl around the pan occasionally. Watch carefully for it to begin to brown and then gently stir or whisk constantly. The whole process takes about 5 minutes. Little mlik-solids will fall to the bottom of the pan and begin to get darker and a very distinct nutty aroma will fill the room.

Once browned, place the shoots in the pan and quickly toss to coat. Gently toss constantly, evenly heating the shoots, until all leaves are wilted and very lightly cooked, about 2-3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm.pea-shoots-browned-butter