I have a problem. Among the piles of mini green peppers and the baskets of tennis ball-sized tomatoes at the market last week, there were a few quart bags packed to the Ziploc with little greenish yellow beans. “Crouch peas,” was what I thought the vendor said, and she told me how delicious they are simmered for hours with salt, pepper, some butter and maybe some smoked meat. Despite having a very-low paying job and an intercontinental trip coming up, I apparently also have very low resistance to buying new food. Five-dollar mystery beans for dinner, anyone?
It turns out that what I was working with was fresh crowder peas, which do look like someone Easter-egg dyed black-eyed peas to look fresh and pleasant. The first time I ever cooked black-eyed peas from scratch was for Hoppin’ John at New Year’s, but I didn’t want to make a hyper “southern” dish. I also did not want to touch bacon (more on my anti-bacon movement/vendetta later), so I found a veg-friendly way to keep the sweetness of the beans as the highlight.
The end result was a warm and flavorful pile of beans, which I served with simply seasoned pork chops and a fresh spring mix salad. While I think I’ll save my next fiver to try something new or buy a favorite (I’m already too partial to cheapo chick peas, black beans, and edamame), it was definitely a nice smooth summer dinner, and not at all ambitious.
Leeks and Crowder Peas
Adapted from here
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp salted butter
fine grain sea salt
4 large leeks, green parts trimmed, quartered and sliced thin
3 cups fresh crowder peas, cooked (cover with water, add salt and pepper and bring to a boil before simmering 45 minutes to 1 hour)
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried tarragon
1) Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over low to medium heat. When hot, add a couple pinches of salt and stir in leeks. Cook stirring regularly until soft and turning golden.
2) Add beans to skillet and cook to heated. Add spices, and adjust butter or seasoning to taste. Serve toasty!