Monday, January 3, 2011

Mediterranean-Style Black-Eyed Peas

This is my take on a recipe from Giada de Laurentiis for this Mediterranean Farro Salad, which is what I was originally going to make. I couldn't find farro or chives at my grocery store, and I didn't want to drive to another one, so I improvised! It turned out quite well. Even my roommate, who claims not to like "this kind of stuff" said it was really good!

- 1 cup black-eyed peas
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces (approx. 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup pitted black olives
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips
- 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In medium saucepan, combine black-eyed peas and three cups water. Black-eyed peas, unlike most other beans, do not need to be soaked first. Bring to a boil and simmer 15-25 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature. I  had never cooked black-eyed peas before and wasn't sure about cooking time. I found a wide variation of cooking times on the Internet, from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. I checked mine at 15 minutes and let them simmer another ten minutes or so. When done, the beans can be easily smashed between two fingers or with a fork.

While the black-eyed peas are cooking, bring a medium pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Drain beans and set aside. Giada says to transfer the beans to a bowl of ice water and let them cool for 2 minutes before draining and setting aside. I chose to skip this step, and my green beans were just fine.

In a sauce pan (I used the same one I cooked the black-eyed peas in), heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the spinach and stir to coat. Cover and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until wilted. I meant to squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the spinach, but forgot!

When the black-eyed peas are room temperature, add the green beans, spinach, red bell pepper, olives, and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl mix together the sherry vinegar, olive oil, mustard, pepper, and salt. Stir to combine and pour over the black-eyed peas salad. Toss to combine and serve!

*Note: I actually used a whole can of olives, because I really like them! We didn't have Dijon mustard in our fridge, so I used the Spicy Sweet Mustard that we did have.

Black-eyed peas are sooo good for you! And let's face it...after the holidays we can all use a boost of healthy eating! I will definitely make this again and would like to try it with a variety of substitute or additional ingredients, such as kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, basil, and feta cheese. Lots of options to vary this recipe!

1 comment:

  1. want some. . .and i like the red plate it is sitting on!


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