This week’s Central Market coupon (expires June 28) gets you $5 off any produce when you spend $40 total at the store. That’s just right for picking up a 1 pound bag–at $4.99 each–of fresh blackeyed peas or purple hull peas (or cream peas or pinto beans when they show up) from Oak Hill Farms in Poteet, Texas. These are the same folks that bring us that wonderful triple washed spinach in the cooler months. Fresh peas and beans couldn’t be easier to cook–no soaking required. I like to cook them in broth made with a ham bone or Whole Foods very smoky ham hocks (from humanely raised pigs). You can make broth ahead and freeze it but it only takes 20 minutes to cook up in the pressure cooker. Of course you save time and energy by cooking the beans and pig parts together. Whatever suits your schedule.
I employ the usual cast of characters when fixin’ a pot of peas: onion, bell pepper–Finca Pura Vida at Sunset Valley Farmers Market grows the most delicious California Wonders, red or green–garlic, thyme (try to grow your own), bay leaf, parsley or celery if you have some and a healthy shot of vinegar towards the end. Fresh field peas take about 40 minutes or so to cook up. I usually just cook them in a pot on the stove, regular style (no pressure cooker or slow cooker). Salt them in the beginning if your broth isn’t robustly seasoned and add the spicy peppers of your choice then as well if you don’t have to coddle tender young palates. Otherwise embellish your own bowl as desired.
DON’T FORGET THE CORNBREAD!!!!