beet greens salad and brown rice with pea shoots

September 18, 2014 • Nancy Wolfson-Moche

I am back… with a new post and some news. First, my blog has been redesigned, with huge thanks to Adi Shniderman for all of his help. Second, I (you are because you eat) have been selected as a 2014 Martha Stewart American Made finalist. Please vote for me here.

I have been growing pea shoots on my windowsill for several months now. They are practically foolproof (every seed sprouts!) and fast-growing (they are edible within two weeks after planting). They are a great garnish on grains, a delicious spicy addition to a salad and they rock when blistered in olive oil in a hot skillet. Try them… you’ll like them.


serves 2 (you will have rice left over)


For the rice:

2 cups medium grain brown rice

2 ½ cups water

6-7 fresh pea shoots

4 sprigs fresh thyme

For the beet greens salad:

2 medium sized beets, with green tops

2 stalks celery

2-3 slices fennel

4 sprigs parsley

For the dressing:

2 small – medium lemons (or one large)
1 Tablespoon tahini

1 teaspoon umeboshi plum paste

1 scallion


Rinse the brown rice and soak it overnight (if possible) in 2 ½ cups water. Place the rice, water and a pinch of sea salt in a small to medium sized heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. I used a pressure cooker here, but cooking instructions are basically the same for any pot. Set the pot on a medium high flame and bring to a boil. When boiling, cover the pot and turn flame down to a simmer. Let the rice simmer, covered, for about 50 minutes. While the rice cooks, wash the pea shoots and thyme. Chop or tear the thyme into small pieces. Then turn flame off and allow rice to sit in the pot for at least ten minutes before disturbing and then serving.


Use a wooden spoon to scoop it out, put it in a bowl and top it with chopped thyme and fresh-cut pea shoots.


While the rice is cooking, make the dressing. Scoop the tahini and ume plum paste into a small glass or ceramic mixing bowl. Chop the scallion into very small pieces and add them to the bowl. Squeeze the lemons and pour the juice into the mixture.


Mix all ingredients with a whisk or a fork, until they are well blended. Allow dressing to sit while you make the salad.

Wash the beet greens, celery, fennel and parsley separately and well. Cut the cooled beets into bite-sized pieces and set aside.


Next chop the beet greens into one-inch wide pieces. Add them to a bowl, along with the beets.


Chop the celery into quarter-inch-wide pieces and place in the bowl.


Chop the fennel into smaller pieces and add to the bowl.


Chop the parsley, and add.


Pour the dressing on top and mix. Serve with the rice dish and savor it all.

©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2014









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Icing on the Cake: Testimonials

I loved Ms. Nancy’s cooking class so much.! I have been in this cooking class for two years and I would love to sign up for another one. I tried a lot of new foods like winter squash, cardamom, Brussels sprouts and kale. My favorite salad was the kiwi, carrot, radish salad.
Not only did we cook and eat, we also did labs about food. We used rulers to measure the size of plants. We also explored stone fruits and their ripe season. Now in my house we have window boxes and I am growing cherry tomatoes and basil.
I learned that we can use a lot of different tools to cook, not just our hands and senses. We used safety knives, potato peelers and a carrot sharpener (I wonder if you could sharpen a pencil with it?) !!!
Because of this class I can help papi make dinner and I will try any new food at least once to see if I like it. Thank you, Ms. Nancy for making cooking fun and interesting and helping me be excited about food.

- Love, K (a 7-year-old boy).