Palo Verde Peas
Did you know that the seeds of the palo verde tree are edible, and delicious?
You have to pick them at just the right time: the pods must be green, and the seeds inside must not be too big. Once the seeds get super fat, they are too tough, although still sweet inside. The ideal stage is when they are just starting to plump up, but are still relatively flat and lozenge-shaped. Once the pods are picked, shell them ASAP. It's just like shelling garden peas, although the pods are a little bit tougher.
Palo verde peas are brilliant green and amazingly sweet, with a flavor that's hard to describe. I like them best raw, as a snack or on a salad. If you cook them, the less cooking time, the better; they lose their color quickly. I made brown rice, stirred it into a pan of sauteed mushroom and onion, then stirred in half a cup of palo verde peas and turned off the heat. They warmed up but kept their color, sweetness, and "pop".
So far the only PVPs I've eaten are from my "Desert Museum" hybrid. Anyone out there have a Foothills or Blue palo verde with tasty seeds? They are a bit time-consuming to pick and shell, but worth it.