All-Things-Green Salad Drizzled with Red Wine-Honey Vinaigrette

IMG_8920Light olive-green Baby Lima Beans, grass Green (English) Peas, the palest yellow-green Lady Peas tossed together with emerald mint leaves, brownish-green pistachios and  lime-green pea shoots lightly coated with an easy honey vinaigrette dressing.

Third Thursday Community Potluck was once again upon us and I had to make something good and fast. Digging through my freezer I found a bag each of fresh frozen baby limas, lady peas and green peas. All from the Nashville Downtown Farmer’s Market this past summer and all grown right here in middle Tennessee at local farms.

Which brings me to fundraisers and good deeds and all kinds of things like that. My friend and neighbor, Harriet Warner, sent me some information about a gathering that addresses all of the above. It is the Cumberland River Compact’s 4th Annual “Farm to Fork” dinner which brings top chefs together to celebrate local food, drink and clean water. If you would like to attend this fabulous evening of cool people who are interested in good food and keeping our beautiful Cumberland River clean and fresh go here for lots more information including menu, chefs…who, what, when and where. Or just go right here to buy tickets to be part of this great dinner party.

Now, back to my own little farm to fork dish,….peas and beans thawed, rinsed and drained…blanched in boiling water for a few minutes and again drained.

DSC_1296

Ah ha! A jar of salt preserved lemons hiding in the back of my pantry! I know they are yellow, but might add just the right saltiness to the salad…slivered and chopped.

DSC_1301

Mint from the backyard.

DSC_1306

Red wine honey vinaigrette drizzled on top.

DSC_1320

Tender pea shoots waiting to top off the salad along with some dusty green pistachios to add a bit of crunch.

DSC_1314

DSC_1340

All-Things-Green Salad with a Simple Red Wine-Honey Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

DSC_1306

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups each fresh or frozen Baby Lima Beans, Lady Peas, and Green(English) Peas
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint
  • 2 TBSP’s thin slivers of preserved lemon
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 2 cups loosely packed green pea shoots
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 2 tsps Dijon mustard
  • sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a bit of salt.  Toss in the baby lime beans, lady peas & green peas. Cook for about 5 minutes. Pour peas and beans into a colander to drain. Rinse with cool running water. Leave to drain and cool down for 20 minutes. Place in a large serving bowl.
  2. Pour the olive oil, vinegar, honey and mustard in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to emulsify. Season with a bit of salt and black pepper to suit your taste. Set aside.
  3. Roughly chop the mint leaves and add to the bowl of beans and peas along with the preserved lemon slivers. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  4. When ready to serve drizzle the vinaigrette over all and toss gently. Top with the tender pea shoots and pistachios.

Note: This is a perfect salad for a crowd. I made it for the September Third Thursday Community Potluck dinner. You could also cut it in half for a family dinner. There was a little bit left so I ate it the next day for lunch and it was even better!

You can use edamame if you cannot find lady peas. I used summer beans and peas that I had frozen, but store-bought frozen product works great too.

Teresa Blackburn     http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com     http://www.foodonfifth.com

 

“Fergola Sarda Pasta, Lady Peas and Pesto Salad”

fergola sarda pasta salad

Labor Day is almost here. The day that heralds the end of summer and the beginning of fall…..somewhere. Labor Day here in Nashville heralds our hottest days and nights, hours of watering gardens & lawns or just giving up and letting it all go to seed. Plump ripe tomatoes, the last of the Lady Peas at the Farmer’s Market and at my house absolutely no desire to fire up the oven. Supper has to be short & a bit sassy, using whatever I can lay my hands on…healthy & colorful is always good…a little crunch…a glass of cool white wine. That is truly about all I can deal with.

Enter, stage left….Fergola Sarda. Have you heard of it? I had not until recently when perusing the shelves of Lazzaroli’s Pasta down the street from my house here on Fifth Avenue North. My eyes alighted on a bag of pasta that contained tiny round, lightly toasted looking balls…like giant Israeli Couscous, but not.

Fergola Sarda Pasta

Fergola Sarda is pasta from the region of Sardinia, Italy. A staple in the Sardinian kitchen this little pasta is actually toasted in an oven which gives it a very rustic appearance & homey flavor. Don’t you love a new food find?

Using other ingredients on hand here is my recipe for “Fergola Sarda Pasta, Lady Peas, and Pesto Salad”.

Ingredients I used:

1 cup Fergola Sarda Pasta cooked al dente according to the package directions; 1 cup Lady Peas (a variety of field peas which include among others Crowder peas, Butter beans, use any of these for this recipe) cooked; sliced Cucumbers & Avocados; quartered homegrown tomatoes; red onion slivers; the juice of 1 lemon, sea salt & freshly ground black pepper; freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, 1 cup of your favorite homemade or store-bought pesto (1/2 cup for mixing in salad & 1/2 cup for serving) & a splash each of olive oil & white balsamic vinegar

Print Full Recipe Here

Fergola Sarda Pasta Ingredients

When the Fergola Sarda Pasta is cooked al dente & drained, pile it in a serving dish. I used a deep platter. The golden color is so appealing isn’t it? I am just a bit smitten.

uncooked fergola sarda pasta

cooked

Ingredients for Fergola Sarda Pasta Salad

I really like the addition of raw onions to a dish such as this salad, but often not the overbearing strong flavor which can take over the others. Here is my tip for “sweetening the onion”. Put your sliced, diced, chopped onions in a bowl. Toss with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Let sit for about 1/2 hour. Drain and add to your recipe. Taste one. You will be amazed at the way the lemon juice totally takes away the harshness of some onions.

red onions & lemon juice

Cooking Lady Peas for this salad is very easy. I rinse fresh peas & drain in a colander. I then cook them in a saucepan barely covered with water, adding some salt & pepper, a dash of garlic powder & a couple of pats of butter. Bring to a boil, turn to simmer for about 20 minutes or until peas have absorbed some of the liquid. Peas are ready for this salad when you press one between your fingers and it “gives”.  Drain cooked peas in a colander allowing to cool a few minutes.

Lady Peas

Add all remaining ingredients to pasta and toss gently.

Fergola Sarda Pasta & Lady Pea SaladpestoDSC_1008

Serve immediately or chill for later. Dollop additional pesto on side of plates when serving as well as a generous grating of Parmesan. “Fergola Sarda Pasta, Lady Peas & Pesto Salad” perfect as is for an entrée, would be a tasty companion to alongside grilled chicken for a dinner party.

Fergola Sarda, Lady Peas & Pesto Salad

Don’t work too hard this Labor Day, summer is fleeting, enjoy it. Stay Cool.

Tennessee Trinity – “Homegrown Tomatoes, Fresh Picked Peas and Sweet Corn”

Let’s start with “The Trinity”

Vine Ripened Sweet Baby Tomatoes
Lady Peas
Sweet Corn

These three summer-fresh vegetables have been part of my own food-lore for as long as I can remember. So many summer meals in my life have been made up of this “trinity”  that grows so abundantly here in Tennessee.

As a child in West Tennessee, I and my playmates would pick ripe tomatoes fresh from the vine in the mid-day sun and bite into them, the warm juice running down our chins, dripping onto our clothes. It was a bit naughty and messy which we loved and as an adult I still love slices of warm, unrefrigerated tomatoes. The juice warm and sweet with a bit of salt is the most simple edible ode to the tomato I can think of.

I recall picking peas with my Grandmother on hot summer mornings…the sun not yet up, dew on the lawn as we went to the backyard garden, trying to get our picking done early. Sitting later in the day on the back porch with a bowl to catch the peas and a paper sack to toss the shells into beside me on the swing. I loved shelling peas then and I still do…this simple task that yields so much pleasure.

 One of my favorite times of the summer was when the “corn came in” and all the women in our rural neighborhood would gather together at one person’s house to “put up” corn. Eunice & Dave, our next door neighbors, would pull a large flat wagon bed up under large oak trees in their back yard. The trees so big and old no hot sun could penetrate the foliage. The neighbor women would gather under these trees, around this wagon bed used as a canning work table before sunrise one day each summer and spend most of the day shucking and cutting corn, taking it inside the house to can …I do not think I was much help but I loved being there with the adults, listening as they talked and gossiped about everything under the sun while saving one of the best parts of the summer in glass jars. In my mind I still hear the all-day, softly constant sound of Shuck, Cut, Scrape, Shuck, Cut, Scrape…..

These days I do grow my own tomatoes, but my peas and corn come from local farmer’s markets. Here are two very easy recipes I made up last week using my  “Tennessee Trinity”.

Recipe #1 – A Very Simple Bread, Tomato & Lady Pea Dinner”

Ingredients:  A generous handful of homegrown cherry tomatoes; 2 cups fresh Lady Peas (black-eyed Peas, Crowder Peas, etc); Butter, Salt &  Black Pepper; thick crusty bread slices cut into large croutons; olive oil; 1 cucumber & fresh Basil leaves

1. Wash, drain & cut tomatoes in half. place in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Cook Lady Peas in water just to cover, add a small chunk of butter, salt & pepper. Cook on med-lo heat for about 15 minutes, or until most of water is absorbed &peas are a bit soft but not mushy.

3. In a skillet over medium-hi heat a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add pieces of bread to skillet, toss well. Cook until browned & crispy. Remove from skillet. Set aside.

4. Peel & chop cucumber.Tear Basil leaves into pieces.

To Serve:

1. On each plate scatter a some of the tomato halves, cucumbers & basil pieces.

2. Place a spoonful of the cooked Lady Peas in the center of each plate. Scatter some of the crusty bread croutons over all. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, some sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.

Beautifully fresh complete dinner on a plate for a hot summer evening. Serve with a crisp, cold white wine.

Recipe #2 – “Warm Polenta with Fresh Sweet Corn & Roasted Sweet Baby Tomatoes”

Ingredients: Sweet Corn cut from the cob; a few fresh from the garden baby tomatoes still on the vine; olive oil, sea salt & pepper; coarse ground yellow cornmeal; water; fresh basil leaves & Parmesan cheese

1. Wash & drain tomatoes. Pre-heat oven broiler. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Place tomatoes on baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil & sea salt.

3. Place tomatoes under broiler and broil until skin is browned & tomatoes are slightly cooked. Remove from oven. Set aside.

4. Bring water to boil in saucepan. Slowly add in cornmeal  while stirring. Cook over medium heat until polenta thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in fresh corn. Add in a handful of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well. Stir in some fresh basil leaves. Remove from heat.

To Serve:

1. Serve warm sweet corn polenta topped with roasted tomatoes. Season with sea salt & fresh ground pepper.

A perfect melding of summer tastes!

….and then there was none.