Tag Archives: Peas

Don’t Judge A Dish By Its Color: Edamame & Pea Hummus

edamame and pea hummus

Consider the cracker. How versatile it is! How much freedom you wield with that (preferably whole wheat, flax, chia, or vegetable) crispy square with which you can scoop up all sorts of delights. Healthy delights. What once was considered the epitome of naughty – chips n’ dip – can now easily be transmuted into the healthiest part of your day. With this recipe, it undoubtedly will be. Full of protein and antioxidants from a surprisingly hearty concoction of edamame, peas, lemon juice, garlic and several healing spices and herbs, you may just find this to be the ideal vehicle for shelving your post-celebratory guilt and repenting upon your most ghastly of holiday gastronomical sins.

Full disclosure – this ain’t pretty to the untrained eye. My little sisters compared it to vomit with great gusto, while my mother swooned for its striking greenery.
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Italian “Street Salad” of Fresh Peas, Mint, & New Potatoes

Jamie Oliver. Can I just say the man can do no wrong? I found this recipe in Jamie’s Italy. It’s a truly gorgeous book full of stories, musings, and rustic Italian recipes from the heart of Italy. This “street salad” (and its endless adaptations) is often served at street festivals and beloved by the locals. I switched out the fennel Oliver’s recipe called for and substituted fresh peas, champagne vinegar for white wine vinegar, etc. Get creative with your street salad!

Italian “Street Salad” of Fresh Peas, Mint, & New Potatoes
Serves 4

Salad
3/4 lb. new potatoes, scrubbed
fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 bag of mixed salad greens (arugula, radicchio, romaine, et.) or 3-4 handfuls
large handful fresh mint, torn
1 cup fresh peas

Dressing
juice of 1 orange or blood orange
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
generous pinch dried oregano
2 tablespoons capers

1.) Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and boil until fork tender; 20-40 minutes, depending on your potatoes. Drain and set aside.

2.) Whisk together orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, oregano, and capers. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3.) Combine potatoes, greens, mint, and peas in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and use your hands to gently coat the salad with the dressing.

This recipe was adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italy. Copyright 2006. Hyperion.

Family Heirloom: Chicken Vesuvio

Before trying this recipe, I had yet to experience the pleasure of the pure, strong flavors that Chicken Vesuvio is meant to be.  This is a classic Italian dish – one that is often butchered by American Italian restaurants.  When I recently ordered it at Chicago’s Carmine’s, the dish that arrived was one of soggy, salty chicken, sitting in a pool of watery broth.  Yuck.

THIS one however, a recipe that is a staple in Cowboy’s Italian family, is heavenly.  The short list of ingredients is what makes this dish so good.  One appreciates the mellow sweetness of the garlic, the assertive peppery & saltiness of the chicken, and the crispy goodness of the potatoes – all punctuated by the pleasant addition of vibrant green peas.

This is what Italian cooking is meant to be – pure, delicious, and uncomplicated.  Italians truly know how to get the most out of their ingredients.  They use the most favorable flavor combinations in their cooking – ones that have been tested time and time again – and often do so at the risk of being pigeonholed as “boring.”  There’s a reason these ingredients have been paired together for so long.  Why mess with something so beautiful in its simplicity by adding unnecessary ingredients?  Basta!

Chicken Vesuvio

4 chicken breasts
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
12 cloves of garlic, peeled
½ lb. frozen petite peas, cooked, and tossed with 1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose white flour OR white whole wheat flour
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp fine grain sea salt
½ cup olive oil

1.) Preheat oven to 350. Place potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water while you prepare.  (Soaking the potatoes in water prior to cooking helps to create that divine crispy, brown crust).  Place flour, salt, pepper, and paprika in a plastic bag.   Place chicken in bag, twist the top to close, and shake to coat chicken with flour and seasonings.

2.) Start cooking the potatoes and chicken at the same time.   Simmer potatoes over medium-high heat while you sauté chicken pieces in olive oil in a sauté pan. Your goal here is simply to brown the chicken a bit before it goes in the oven, so a few minutes on each side should do the trick.

3.) Once browned, remove chicken from pan and place in a 9 x 15 glass baking dish with the garlic cloves. Add potatoes to the sauté pan, working in batches if pan is too crowded, and sauté until lightly browned as well.

4.) Add potatoes to baking dish, and drizzle the remaining olive oil over the contents of the dish.

5.) Bake for 1 hr and 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on how thick your chicken breasts are, until chicken and potatoes are browned, adding the peas 10 minutes before you take the chicken out of the oven.