Peas on Earth and Texas Caviar

Every Saturday morning I visit our local farmers market, and my favorite vendor is the one specializing in Asian fruits and vegetables.  Many times I’ve spotted something unfamiliar and had no idea how to prepare or cook it.  So I ask the growers for tips, do a Google search when I get home and – voila! – an instant food adventure!
This week the guy recommended purple hull peas.  Maybe because they were the most expensive thing he was selling, or maybe because they were great.  I suspected the former, hoped for the latter, and bought a bag along with my eggs, zucchini and all the rest.  I did a quick search and found a fellow blogger, cook and Texan Jill McKeever and her Simple Daily Recipes site.  “How to Cook Fresh Purple Hull Peas – SUPER FAST” seemed like just the ticket.  So I pulled out the pressure cooker, piled in the peas and a few other ingredients, cooked for 4 minutes (yes, only 4 minutes!) and let it cool.  It was super fast, super easy, and delicious!  Purple hull peas taste something like black eye peas but just a little milder and the quick cooking and slow cooling means they hold their shape and texture but are tender and have a nice gravy/sauce.  I always cook enough for leftovers and these are destined to become Texas Caviar.  Here’s a quick and easy recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1 cup cooked purple hull peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn, cooked lightly and drained
  • 1/2 cup medium picante sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

Preparation

Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl, cover and chill, stirring occasionally, for 8 hours. Serve with tortilla chips or as a side dish.

p.s.  If you don’t feel like Tex Mex, you can substitute Italian dressing for salsa + cilantro + lime and it’s just as good!

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