August 30, 2018
Is it just me, or does it feel like we’re in some odd purgatory season between summer and fall? I’m already starting to see pumpkin flavored foods and drinks hit the shelves, but I would probably sweat out cinnamon if I tried drinking a PSL while my dashboard reads 103. And nothing feels right about that.
I’m feeling the same way when it comes to foods… the fall produce is starting to come in season, but I still want to eat all the colorful, light summer foods while they last. So when I saw that peas hit the Dallas Farmer’s Market this past weekend, I wanted to do something with them, but I wasn’t quite sure what. When you see peas sitting there in a bin at a farmer’s market, sometimes it’s hard to think of a creative meal. And they can be easy to overlook or dismiss because of their cooking time. I’m telling you, though, these little guys are worth a little extra TLC. Peas are so versatile—they can be used in soups, vegetable salads, pureed (if you’re feeling fancy, or maybe DIY baby food?), or eaten on their own as a hearty, comforting side.
But I couldn’t bear the thought of a stew or some other heavy dish this week. I still wanted to my dish to feel fresh, and almost serve as an ode to summer. So I looked around the market for a little more inspiration and knew I had to take advantage of the last of the tomatoes, okra, and corn- and what better way than throwing them all together in a succotash? Typically made with lima beans or edamame, I decided to embrace the purgatory and sub for purple peas. And the result was even better! The naturally salty peas bring such a savory flavor to the dish- and coupled with the smoky bacon, sweet corn, tangy tomatoes, and fresh herbs… this plus a little protein is all you need for a complete, satisfying meal.
Purple Hull Peas:
*I used a mix of lemon bail oolong bone broth (picked this up at Stocks & Bondy at the Dallas Farmer’s Market- sounds extra, and it is, but amazing flavor) and water. I love that the bone broth infuses the peas with an extra depth of flavor, plus the added benefit of protein and collagen is definitely a plus. But, stock or well-seasoned water also works well.
Bring liquid to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add peas, garlic, sugar, salt, and oil. Return to a boil, and then bring the heat down to medium-low and let it come to a simmer. Cover and cook for about an hour, until the peas are tender but still have a bite to them. You don’t want them to get mushy in the dish. Remove from the heat and let cool. This can be done a day ahead, and stored in the fridge overnight. Drain the liquid before adding to the succotash (and save it for sipping/poaching liquid/soups).
While the peas cook, prepare the chimichurri. Add oil, vinegar and lemon juice to the herbs, along with salt, pepper, minced garlic, and hot sauce. This can also be done a day ahead.
When the peas are done, season the pork with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add the chops and corn to a grill over medium heat. Make sure the pork chops get a nice sear, and then cover and cook about 5-7 minutes per side, depending on thickness. They should feel firm in the middle when cooked through. Be sure to rotate the corn often. When the meat is done cooking, let it rest for about 5 minutes. The corn should be a nice yellow color when it is ready to take off.
For the succotash, have all ingredients chopped and ready to go. Add bacon to a large, dry skillet and let it brown. Drain off the excess grease and add chopped onion, okra and garlic. Allow these to cook together for about 3-4 minutes, and then add the corn, peas, and tomatoes to the skillet. Toss to let all the ingredients heat through, but be careful not to overcook the peas.
Now the moment you’ve been waiting for- invite over some good company and serve the succotash alongside the pork topped with chimichurri. And tell me that’s not a recipe for a good night.