Sprouts
Ingalls Photography

We're ever so grateful for sprouts, the young shoots from just-germinated plants that can be sown indoors, and go from seeds to ready-to-eat in days, even in the depths of winter. There are hundreds of varieties eaten around the world, each adding snap and freshness to our meals. Buckwheat sprouts (A) have a tartness that shines in salads. Sautéing a mix of sprouted Japanese azuki beans, peas, and Indian masoor dal (hulled brown lentils) (B) brings out the toasty legume flavor. Grassy alfalfa (C) perks up falafel-packed pita pockets. Radish sprouts (D), kaiware in Japanese, have a horseradish-like kick, and are used as garnish for sashimi. Bold broccoli sprouts (E) are great steamed or sautéed. Sweet pea shoots (F) punch up Thai minced salads called laab. Juicy mung bean sprouts (G), a staple of East Asian cooking, add bite to stir-fries. To bring crunch to sandwiches, we like to combine sweet clover (H), nutty sunflower (I), and peppery arugula sprouts (J).