We’d like to introduce you to one of the superheroes of the Local Box, the field pea. Also called southern peas and cow peas, the field peas’ harvest season just started, and local farmers will be sending them our way all summer.
Common varieties of field peas– purple hull, lady cream, crowder, and black-eyed– have long been a staple of Southern cuisine. The hardy plants flourish in the hot sun, and they’re often used as a cover crop since they improve the soil where they grow. Southern peas are also extremely draught tolerant, so farmers can count on them in even the toughest Texas summers.
In the kitchen, field peas are versatile and easy to prepare. They are very delicate, and although they freeze well, they only keep in the refrigerator for a day or two. Freshly cooked southern peas have a nutty, slightly sweet taste with an ultra-creamy texture that is just perfect in stews and soups, or to add texture to salads. Field peas do more than taste good– they’re nutritional powerhouses, with tons of protein, fiber, and folate for heart health.
Stay tuned for more field pea recipes and ideas for how to use these tasty southern staples. And since we’re planning to have them around until August, go ahead– give peas a chance!