(Almost No Cooking) E.A.T. Late Summer Salad with Crowder Peas, Homegrown Tomatoes & Cucumbers

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 The so-called “dog days of summer” have gotten to me and when it comes to cooking I am giving in. Salads and variations-on-the-salad will be my mainstay for a bit. Cool foods that I can quickly and easily put together with ingredients  that are readily and locally available. I will make foods that do not require breaking a sweat.

This colander of fresh Crowder peas in where we start today. I quickly cooked them in a plastic bag in the microwave…no hot water steaming up the kitchen on this 90+ degree day,  then I rinsed them in cold water and let them drain for a bit.

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Hmmmm….homegrown tomatoes & cucumbers from the Duren-Kemp garden of earthly delights. (That’s my son-in-law and daughter’s garden.)

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A splash or two or three of this fab balsamic vinegar purchased down the street from Lazzaroli’s Pasta emporium.

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Easy as this Lemon Salt  & freshly ground black pepper added to taste… served with glass of chilled white wine and a baguette from Dozen’s Bakery.

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 A late summer, no oven or stove-top dinner, healthy & fresh, cool as a cucumber meal! Keep it simple, don’t work up a sweat with this “Crowder Pea, Homegrown Tomato & Cucumber Salad”. It’s another “E.A.T. ” (easy as this) meal brought to you from my little Food on Fifth kitchen.

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(Almost No Cooking) E.A.T. Late Summer Salad of Crowder Peas, Homegrown Tomatoes and Cucumbers

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: E.A.T. (Easy as This)
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups fresh, shelled Crowder peas, lady peas or any other summer pea
  • 4 medium size home-grown tomatoes cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1-2 fresh smallish size cucumbers, peeled or unpeeled, sliced or cut into chunks
  • a good balsamic vinegar, as much as you like to coat
  • lemon salt & freshly ground black pepper (or just regular sea salt)

Directions:

  1. Rinse & drain peas & put in a zip-lock bag left slightly open. Cook in microwave for about 8 minutes on high. Dump into a colander and rinse with cool running water. Leave to drain for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl toss together the cooled peas, tomato chunks & cucumbers.
  3. Season with salt & black pepper. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar to taste. Serve at room temp or chilled. Delicious with a crusty baguette and, of course on a hot day, a glass of chilled white wine. Bon Appetite.

Teresa Blackburn   teresablackburnfoodstyling.com    foodonfifth.com

“Autumn Supper Salad with Crispy Cornbread Croutons”

fall salad

Shhhhhh…did you hear it? Summer made a very quiet exit as Autumn crept in. I hardly noticed. Did you?

Regardless of the seasons we eat salads for Supper. Salads as entrees, not as sides. Salads with ravioli scattered on top, salads with thinly sliced steak nestled amongst the greens, salads with fruit & cheese. Spinach, Mixed Greens, Kale, Arugula. Carrots, Tomatoes, Berries and Plums. Feta, fresh Mozzarella, shreds of Parmesan Reggiano. Croutons made from baguettes, ciabatta bread or cornbread cut up &  tossed with olive oil & herbs, cooked until crispy.

Salad

Here is what you will need to make one of our favorite salads with lots of healthy stuff.

For the Salad: Salad greens such as Arugula, Spinach, Kale or Mixed Green. A handful of berries, grape or cherry tomatoes, figs or grapes, plums & Feta Cheese

1. Place greens in a bowl. Cut figs & plums into quarters and add to the bowl. Top with berries. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and toss into bowl. Crumble Feta over everything keeping it in somewhat big chunks. Set aside or cover and keep chilled until ready to serve.

Figs on cutting board

plums

arugula salad

For the cornbread croutons you will need some precooked cornbread (available at most groceries in their deli), olive oil, shredded Parmesan.

1. Add olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium high heat. Cut cornbread into cubes. Place in hot skillet in a single layer tossing gently with olive oil. Turn once to brown on both sides. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan and let melt somewhat. Remove pan from the heat.

cornbread

cornbread croutons

Serve Autumn Salad topped with these slightly warm,  crunchy croutons and add a light drizzle of a light balsamic vinaigrette.

Life is busy. What could be easier than a salad for supper?

“Peas in a Pod Salad Fit for a Princess”

Nashville has hot, muggy Springs. Green Peas need cool, crisp weather. So, last week I was very thrilled to find one lone basket with green peas in their pods from a local farm…one basket at the downtown Nashville Farmer’s Market with these fresh, fat little pods of pleasure.

Shelling peas is a single-minded, meditative and full-of-memories activity. Back porches on early summer mornings, my Grandmother sitting quietly shelling peas and beans for lunch. She taught me how to pick the plumpest peas, how to string beans, how to push them gently out of their shells with my thumb. Last week I shelled & mused, pea-by-pea.

“Peas-in-a-Pod Salad on a Plate”

1. Shell peas until you have 2 cups. Rinse & drain. Place in a pot just barely covering peas with water. Add a pinch of sea salt &  1 tbsp of butter. Bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer for about 6-8 minutes.

2. Pour peas in a colander and rinse with cool water.

3.  In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, a fruity flavored vinegar such as peach, apple or balsamic, a bit of lemon juice, sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.

4. Rinse & pat dry tender, crisp lettuce leaves.

5. Cook a few slices of thick bacon until crispy. Remove to drain. Cut a few slices of crusty bread into cubes for croutons. Add to skillet with bacon drippings. Sprinkle bread cubes with a light drizzle of olive oil. Toast bread in skillet over medium high heat until crispy. Remove & set aside to cool slightly.

6. To assemble salad, divide salad greens evenly between plates. Top with peas, bacon cut into pieces, generous grating of fresh Parmesan cheese, toasty croutons & a drizzle of dressing.

 How do you like your peas? When you read “The Princess and the Pea” did you feel the Princess was laying it on a bit thick?  Have you ever taken the time to sit and shell peas? Did you enjoy it? What are your favorite peas?

Today is the Transit of Venus…a once in a lifetime event..unless you live a really, really long time..which I hope you do….so enjoy and eat your peas.

Cook, Eat, Share.