Just like that, summer is on it’s way out! The firm fleshy green leaves have a few twisted dry ones out and about, and before we know it, they will be turning all shades of yellow, gold, orange and red. Like everyone else, I am trying to bottle the last bits of the season. This time of the year calls for transition cooking, something beyond your cool and chilled soups, and yet not anything overly robust and heavy, just heartier than last week… While this can be served hot, it also tastes great at room temperature. It can be served with a glass of chilled white wine, but would also be fine with with a lighter red, so all in all just what you need to transition you into fall.
I spent Saturday, at the Chappaqua farmers market, serving up my Black Bean and Stone Fruit Salad, and on Sunday we went hiking over to Bear Mountain Park, returning home I went out to see what nature (aka our little garden had in stone for me. I picked a summer squash, that was bright and yellow, a few plump tomatoes, a couple of bright and shiny cayenne peppers, loads of mint and cilantro and I was a happy girl. I paired this with black-eyed peas and coconut milk and my transition stew was created.
Before I move on to more, if like me you are around this week, can I ask you to stop by my cooking class at Bloomingdales this Wednesday (August 20th), where I will be cooking three dishes and working with Aries Wine and Spirits to do a wine pairing, you can get more details about the class here.
Black-eyed peas (oh boy!, I just realized that I had shared a recipe made with them last week), are a lighter and quicker cooking alternative to chickpea and can be just as satisfying. In a dish like the one I am sharing today, they have the added bonus of offering a pretty appearance.
To Cook Black-Eyed Peas
Ideally soak the peas for a couple of hours, then they can be cooked any of the following ways with about 1 teaspoon of salt,
Slow Cooker -3 hours
Pressure Cooker: 15 minutes
Stove top: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Now, since these cook un-attended, you really have no excuse not to make your own. Once, this is done, we are really talking about a 20-25 minute dish.
A refreshing stew with black-eyed peas and a rainbow of vegetables in a mint and coconut sauce. Ingredients Instructions
A refreshing stew with black-eyed peas and a rainbow of vegetables in a mint and coconut sauce.
Rainbow Mint and Coconut Transition Stew
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 to 6 curry leaves
1 medium sized onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 medium sized summer squash, sliced
1 medium sized carrot, thinly sliced
1 cup of green beans, trimmed and halved
1 cup of cooked black-eyed peas
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 fresh cayenne peppers minced
Salt to taste
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 large lime or lemon
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper to garnish
Method of Preparation
Heat the oil and add in the mustard seeds and wait until they crackle. Add in the onion and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until they are soft and wilted.
Add in the ginger and the curry leaves and stir well.
Add in the summer squash and the carrots and green beans and cook the mixture for about 5 minutes.
Add in the black-eyed peas, tomatoes, cayenne peppers and salt and stir well.
Add in the ¾ cup coconut milk with another cup of water and begin simmering the stew.
In the meantime, place the 2 tablespoons coconut milk and the mint leaves in a blender and process to a paste.
Stir into the briskly simmering stew. Simmer the stew until the vegetables are tender and the mixture is slightly thick.
Cut the lime or lemon and squeeze in the juice. Stir in the cilantro, and add plenty of freshly ground black pepper and serve hot or at room temperature.