Black Eyed Pea Salad
The fresh black-eyed peas in your box may worry you because they look like a lot of work. But they really are worth the few minutes of extra effort even though they are small! Maybe they aren’t what you will use to get dinner on the table when you are tired after a long busy work day, but I developed the following recipe and the earthy flavor of the black eyed peas is a wonderful contrast to the bright summer flavors of tomatoes, basil and corn. All together (including blanching and shucking the peas, the recipe took 50 minutes, from start to finish, to prepare.
3/4-lb black eyed peas from your box
3 cloves of garlic, with skin removed
2 ears of corn, shucked and kernels cut off the cob
1/2 medium size red onion, diced (or 1/2 onion if it is a large one!)
1 medium-size heirloom tomato chopped into bite-size pieces
basil leaves, diced to make 3 tablespoons
juice from one lemon
I find it much easier to shuck my black-eye peas if I blanch them. Put a pot with a few cups of water on to boil. You only need to use enough water to submerge the peas. When the water is boiling, add the peas and cover the pot. Simmer for 4 or 5 minutes – this is not meant to cook the peas, just to make them easier to shuck. Remove the pot from the heat, drain the peas into a colander and spray with a bit of water to cool them off. Within 1 or 2 minutes they will be cool enough to start shelling. It took me less than 15 minutes to shell 3/4 pounds. You will end up with about 1 cup of shelled peas.
Now that the peas are shelled, put your pot with a few cups of water back on the stove to boil. Add the shucked peas to the boiling water, along with the garlic cloves. Cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Check the peas – they should be soft and well-cooked. If not, leave them a few minutes more. Remove the pot from the stove and let the peas cool a bit in the water while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Remove the garlic cloves from the water and dice them.
Put the corn kernels, diced garlic, diced red onion, chopped heirloom tomatoes and the diced basil into a salad bowl. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the salad. Sprinkle about 1/4-cup of olive oil over the salad. Add the cooled beans. If they are still a bit warm that is OK. Salt to taste. Mix it all together and serve!