Wed 2 Sep 2009
Once a year, when the growing season is right, I get a yen for lady peas, the most delicate of the pantheon of Southern peas that includes blackeyed peas, purple hull peas, crowder peas and so on. Lady peas are the smallest, the most subtle, the most, well, ladylike. We bought a pound at the Farmers Market downtown a few weeks ago and I cooked up a mess. (That means a bunch.)
I treat the peas as a soup. I diced pretty finely a small onion, a carrot and a celery rib, sauteed them a bit in olive oil, and then added the rinsed lady peas and a couple of pieces of bacon, also chopped. with a sprinkling of dried thyme and oregano, salt and pepper and a few cups of water. Being small, lady peas don’t take long to cook, maybe an hour or so at a simmer. The broth made from these ingredients was wonderful, filled with flavor yet not powerful. As you can see from the photograph, I served these with a garnish of julienne basil.
What else? The tomatoes have been good this year, so a salad of sliced heirloom tomatoes, red and yellow and pale green.
And while we don’t often have dessert Chez FK/LL, I thought that it would be appropriate to conclude a Southern meal with a peach cobbler with clabber biscuits for the crust. Yeah, this was awesomely delicious.
With the lady pea soup, we drank the Silverado Miller Ranch Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Napa Valley. Made all in stainless steel and with seven percent semillon grapes, this is a lovely wine, so deft and well-balanced, filled with pleasure and allure. Mildly herbal and grassy, this sauvignon blanc offers sunny and leafy fig and lemon scents and flavors with hints of apples and green grapes and melon. Lime peel comes in after a few minutes, with touches of dried thyme and tarragon, followed by a wash of limestone and shale. Clean, bright acidity energizes the whole package, which concludes with a tang of grapefruit and a hint of its bracing bitterness. An incredibly fresh and appealing wine. Excellent. About $20, Great Value.
Yes, Readers, I am actually in the Douro Valley in Portugal and in about an hour we’ll be heading out to Vale D. Maria for a tasting and lunch and then on to Quinta do Vallado for another tasting and dinner. I had meant to do this lady pea post last week, but I had a few minutes to do some catch-up writing and emailing. Have a great day, and I’ll try to post again tonight or tomorrow morning.