Monday, July 30, 2012

A Prettier Cousin of the Black-Eyed Pea

On a whim Ashley planted pink-eyed peas in our summer garden. One of the several varieties of field peas/cowpeas, pink-eyed peas are cousins to the more commonly known black-eyed peas; however, for connoisseurs of  of field peas, pink-eyed peas have more flavor (I haven't reached that level of judgement). This was a really interesting plant to watch grow. Apparently they do best in sandy, well-drained soil (which we have) and like lots of sun. They grow in bush form--no need to stake them--and the best part is you know the peas are ready when the hulls turn purple. 

The hulls themselves are long, about 6 inches, and the peas inside are light green with pink eyes. What a pretty combination!

Our little harvester likes to eat them raw (of course). I wouldn't recommend this but he always prefers to eat food right from the garden. 

Shelling the peas by hand takes a lot of work. Ashley and I plowed through a 3 gallon bucket in an hour--and were rewarded with ONE very full quart bag, which I froze for later use.

I used some of our pink-eyed peas in the succotash I made this week. Other options I've read about are making a pea salad (sometimes known as Texas or cowboy caviar) and hummus (this recipe is for black-eyed pea hummus, which I've made, and pink-eyes can easily be substituted). 

To read more about this variety of peas, visit the Purple Hull Pea Festival's web site. Don't you love when a small town has a festival for a food that many people don't even know exists? Around here we have the Okra Strut and the Peanut Party, along with a more common Peach Festival. 

1 comment:

  1. Ok. Another confession.......I've never eaten black-eyed peas either. I guess I'll add that next to okra as veggies I must try this year. :)