Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Bmore Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Sunday night was my first night cooking beans that I grew, harvested, and dried myself.
This post has a photo of the beans in their pods.
Well, not exactly completely myself, since these black-eyed peas were from the collective toil of the Remington garden, but I did plant these little babies in the ground myself, pick, and dry them. There was just some nice, neighborly help weeding and watering.
I am sure other gardeners got some of these beans, but since the crop peaked mid-summer and everyone was tired or on vacation, had too much other produce, or didn't feel like doing the labor of shelling all of the beans, I got to reap the benefit of a huge harvest!
These beans dried don't look like much. The quart jar was about 1/3 full. I thought I might make enough to have a few bowls of bean salad for myself.
But when I soaked the beans for a few hours, they swelled up and filled the jar!
If I had been diligent and remembered beforehand what I learned on "America's Test Kitchen," I would have soaked the dried beans in a brine instead of plain water to add more flavor. Next time!
After looking through a Moosewood cookbook, I was inspired by a feijoada recipe and added onions and crushed fennel and coriander to the boiling pot of water and beans.
After the beans were done cooking, I also added a few other CSA veggies into the mix, like a frozen jar of corn & some pickled red and green bell peppers.
The jar of peppers was canned over the summer after I had way too much bounty in my CSA pickup and I didn't want the peppers to go to waste. I added a few cloves of garlic to the jar as well, which didn't add a whole lot of flavor but it did look nice.
If you look at the left side of the cupboard on the middle shelf, you can also see the pretty red and green jar. I'm not a huge fan of peppers, but if I do eat them I prefer them roasted or pickled.
In addition to the cooked beans, corn, spices, and pickled peppers, I also added some chopped onion (also from last summer's CSA, the onions have kept very well in the fridge) and some steamed kale.
I had to get the kale from the grocery store, and it's about the most-local produce you can get at the grocery store this time of year. I wandered around trying to find food that didn't arrive on an airplane or get trucked hundreds of miles in a refrigerated vehicle.
So when I bought some greens last Tuesday night, I chose kale instead of the plastic clamshell of spinach since the kale was grown in South Carolina, and the spinach came from Mexico.
Also, Huffington post recently brought up this great argument for why you should know the farm where your produce comes from: http://bit.ly/a0C5LJ
Lettuce, radishes, and other greens are being grown in greenhouses at this time of year in our area, but unfortunately for now that produce is only available on the weekends at the farmers markets.
But enough food politics and back to the recipe!
To spark the whole dish off, I also poured on a lot of spice mix with smoky paprika, oregano, and cumin from the Whiskey Island stand in Mill Valley.
A delicious, filling-but-not-too-heavy, local, and beautiful dish that's hearty enough for winter, but also kind of reminds me of the barbeques yet to come this summer.
Yummy office lunch too.
And don't worry, I saved the flavorful liquid the beans were cooked in to make a delicious soup. Maybe I'll fry up some tortillas or make some cornbread to round out the meal. I've still got a jar of pickled tomatillos in the pantry, so who knows?
Posted by AlizaEss