Black-Eyed Pea Salad
It's amazing how many peas a few vines can produce. We pushed about eight beans in the ground and harvested black-eyed peas all summer long. If you don't have fresh peas on hand, simply soak dried beans overnight to rehydrate them. I made this salad for a party once and watched as most people avoided it like the plague, filling their plate instead with cheese curls and Doritos. The folks that did try the salad loved it, and I think you will too. It's one of those things that really taste better the day after you make it, the flavors opening up and really getting to know each other as they spend time together in the bowl.
1 pound black-eyed peas, fresh or rehydrated
1 fennel bulb, diced (fronds reserved)
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1 cup Vidalia onion, diced
1 tablespoon Out of the Blue salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
In a large pot, cover the peas with cold water and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to a low boil and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the peas are just tender, but still hold their shape. You don't want mushy peas! Drain the peas and give them a quick rinse with cold water. Put the peas in the fridge and let them get nice and cold. When chilled, combine the peas with the rest of the ingredients.
Finely chop the reserved fennel fronds and add them to the salad as well. I've found that some peas, for whatever reason, just need a little more salt than others, so be sure to adjust the seasoning to your liking. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, making sure to give the whole thing a thorough mix-up before service.
Seared Romaine and Cucumber
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
2 Cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cubed
l/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
l/2 cup diced Yellow Onion
1 teaspoon grated Ginger
Juice and zest of one lemon
In a heavy skillet or wok over high flame, heat about 2 tablespoons butter until nearly smoking. Add grated ginger and onion and cook forl minute over high heat. Add chopped Romaine and stir until just seared and wilted. Toss in turmeric and cucumber. Remove from heat when cucumber is just warmed through. Toss in turmeric and cucumber. Remove from heat when cucumber is just warmed through. Add the lemon juice and zest, season with a good pinch of sea salt and enjoy.
Peach Quesadilla with Brie and Peach-Tomato Salsa
Peaches and fennel are a combination you should really see used more often, as each gives a little something to the other. You can spike the salsa with some fresh chilies if you like things a little spicy. You can substitute the chicken thighs with chicken breast if you like, or use shrimp, pork, or even firm tofu.
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon avocado oil
1 fennel bulb, sliced into rings (fronds reserved for salsa)
whole wheat tortillas
4-6 oz. Brie cheese, room temperature
l/2 Vidalia onion, diced
2 peaches, chopped
1 heirloom tomato
3 tablespoons peach puree or peach butter
1 tablespoon fennel fronds, chopped
avocado or olive oil
For the Salsa:
Mix together onions, peaches, & tomatoes in a bowl with just a pinch of salt. Add the fennel fronds
peach puree, and a just a splash of avocado oil. Cover and refrigerate until you're ready with the
For the Quesadillas:
Score the chicken thighs on both sides, being careful not to cut all the way through. Place in a bowl and add the cinnamon, a little pepper, salt, and oil. Mix it all together and then add the chicken to a large grill pan over medium-high heat. When the chicken starts to get some good color, flip the chicken and add the fennel rings to the pan and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Make sure your chicken is cooked all the way through, then remove from the heat and cut into strips.
Now, to assemble the quesadillas, place a tortilla on a hot griddle or pan. Place 3 slices of Brie on the tortilla, add some fennel, some chicken, and the top with another slice of Brie to hold it all together. Cover with the other tortilla and let the whole thing go for a few minutes. When one side looks done, flip the quesadilla and cook until the cheese is nice and squishy. When you're ready to serve, slice into four triangles and serve with loads of the fresh Peach-Tomato salsa.
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