Friday, 30 January 2009

Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Salad for Tyler Florence Fridays

Ok, I know the recipe says relish, but I served this cold as a salad and it was pretty darned tasty. This dish fits nicely with my resolution of cooking with dried beans once a week, and also marks my first time cooking with, or even eating, black-eyed peas. They are originally from Africa and popular in the Southern United States, and are a great source of vital minerals in the diet.
I was surprised that they did not require a soak before cooking, and were cooked with salt - as many dried beans are not salted until tender, the salt inhibiting their softening.
I halved the recipe, and still had a lot of salad - unless you are feeding a crowd, I suggest you halve it as well. The resulting dish, which is good hot, warm, or cold, is very tasty and fairly healthy as well. The leftovers just get better over time, and it is good in the fridge for a couple of days.

SPICY BLACK-EYED PEA RELISH - Tyler Florence, Dinner at My Place
3 cups dried black-eyed peas
2 slices thick-cut bacon
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tomatoes, quartered
5 garlic cloves, peeled
5 dried red chilies
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart chicken broth
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lemon, juice only
Extra-virgin olive oil
Cilantro springs for garnish
Tomato wedges for garnish

Combine dried peas, bacon, thyme, tomatoes, garlic and chilies in a large pot. Season with salt and black pepper and pour chicken broth over top. Place over medium-low heat and simmer for 1 hour, until peas are tender.
Drain cooked pea mixture, reserving the cooking liquid and discarding the thyme. Remove bacon slices, tomatoes, garlic and chilies from the cooked peas; set aside. (Reserve chilies for garnish.) Cut up bacon slices and fold back into the peas with green onion, cilantro and lemon juice.
Place the cooking liquid, the tomatoes and the garlic in a blender and puree. Dress the peas with the puree and give it a final season with salt and black pepper. Serve with a drizzle of oil. Garnish with reserved chilies and the cilantro sprigs. Serves 6 to 8.

Until this week, these were the only Black-Eyed Peas that I was familiar with. Well, I do have a house full of teenagers.


Join us for Tyler Florence Fridays!
Choose, cook, share.
Round-up every Friday, check out the
Tyler Florence Fridays site for details.