Do you have a favorite “cookbook of the moment?” Maybe it’s a new purchase or an old favorite and you are rediscovering it?
I approach buying a new cookbook as I would dating. We have to get to know each other first before I make a commitment. We may be initially introduced through a food blog or a magazine article. I do my homework to see who’s reading it, what kind of food they are making, what kind of reviews it has gotten. And then there is the first date – maybe we meet up at Barnes and Noble or the library. If I’m interested, I’ll invite it back to my place.
My fave of the moment is this book – Screen Doors and Sweet Tea by Martha Hall Foose. It’s actually been out for about three years, but as I said – baby steps. Everything about this cookbook – from the gingham dress and colorful salad on the front cover to the yummy blackberry limeade recipe on page 12 – screams summer. I already have a running list of recipes I want to try and my goal is to get through the entire book before fall.
Martha released her second cookbook – A Southerly Course – earlier this year. Have only had a few fleeting moments with this one, but it looks as if she has embraced all the yumminess that is Southern cooking just as effectively as she did in her first book.
It is because of the colorful salad on the front cover that I decided to try Lady Peas. I have seen them sold at my local farmer’s market but never paid much attention because I thought they were just another species of black-eyed peas. Not so. Lady Peas are very similar to cannellini beans, only smaller. This salad is creamy and fresh – thanks to the addition of the chopped fresh basil and parsley.
Lady Pea Salad
- 2 cups shelled Lady Peas (could also use cannellini beans or black-eyed peas)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup finely diced celery
- 3 cup vegetable broth
- 4 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Rinse beans with cold water and remove any hulls or bits of debris.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add celery and cook until slightly tender, about five minutes.
- Add peas and stir until coated with butter. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until peas are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid.
- Add diced tomatoes, parsley, basil, vinegar and olive oil. Stir until well combined.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow salad to sit for 20 minutes, preferably overnight.