OKRA AND TOMATO BOLOGNESE WITH PAPPARDELLE
1 pound okra
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon red wine
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan to top
1 8-ounce package pappardelle noodles
3 quarts water
1/8 cup kosher salt
Begin by charring the okra whole on a grill pan. Heat the pan to medium-high and lay okra pods in between the ribs of the pan. This will help char the okra faster and give them a uniform color. This will take a while, so be patient. It can take from 15-20 minutes per side.
In a dutch oven or deep saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions sweat, about seven or eight minutes. Add the carrots and continue to saute until they start to soften, about five minutes.
Raise the heat to high and add the beef. Thoroughly brown the meat, cooking about 10 minutes before reducing the heat to medium-low and adding the tomatoes and basil. Let this mixture simmer about 15 minutes. Add the salt, peppers and wine.
Chop the stems off the okra and then halve the pods. Add them to the mixture and continue to simmer about 15 more minutes.
Heat the water in a large stockpot and add the salt. Bring to boil and add the pappardelle. Stir frequently for 10 minutes. Drain.
Remove half the sauce from the pan and place in a bowl. Place the pasta in the pot with the remaining sauce and stir, covering all the pasta. Plate the pasta with tongs and then ladle some of the reserved sauce on top. Top with the Parmesan.
LABOR DAY RECIPES
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND APPLE WALDORF SALAD
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Jazz, cored and chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the squash and boil for 5 to 7 minutes, or until just tender. Be careful not to overcook. Drain immediately and spread on a rimmed baking sheet to cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, chives and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the apples, celery, walnuts and cooled squash.
CURRIED SHRIMP KEBABS WITH WATERMELON-AVOCADO SALAD
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons curry powder
16 ounces large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups diced watermelon
2 avocados, pitted and diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lime juice
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
20 ounces cocktail tomatoes
Torn fresh basil leaves, to serve
Pecorino cheese, to serve
In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and curry powder. Add the shrimp and stir to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
Just before you’re ready to grill the shrimp, assemble the salad. In a medium bowl, gently combine the watermelon, avocados, scallions and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat the grill to medium-high. Use an oil-soaked paper towel held with tongs to coat the grates with oil.
Thread the shrimp onto skewers, adding a cocktail tomato every few shrimp. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes, turning once or twice for even browning. Serve the shrimp and tomatoes over the watermelon and avocado salad. Top with torn basil leaves and crumbled pecorino.
FIELD PEAS RECIPES
BASIC FIELD PEAS
4 cups shelled field peas
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or smoked sea salt
5 or 6 pods okra, untrimmed (optional)
Makes 4 cups.
Combine the field peas, water and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat; arrange the okra on top, if using. Once the liquid begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low; cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender.
Reserve the okra to serve on the side, if desired, or discard it. Serve the peas warm, or transfer to a container along with their liquid; cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
PEAS AND GREENS WITH TOMATO, SCALLIONS AND DILL
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into small dice
2 large garlic cloves, crushed, then minced
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 medium ripe tomato, peeled and finely chopped, with juices (see NOTE)
1/2 cup field pea cooking liquid (may substitute vegetable broth or water)
3 cups cooked field peas
2 medium bunches leafy greens such as mustard, turnip, collards or kale, tough stems discarded and leaves cut into fat ribbons or bite-size pieces
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped dill
Heat the oil in a heavy saute pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the onion, garlic and half of the salt; cook until translucent and just beginning to pick up color around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the lemon zest and stir for a few seconds, then add the tomato and its juices. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly. Add1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the field peas; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the field peas and stir to incorporate. Reduce the heat to low; add the greens and the remaining salt. Cover and allow the greens to steam/wilt for 2 to 3 minutes, then gently turn them. Cover and cook, gently turning the greens occasionally, until tender: 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the variety of the greens and their maturity. If the greens seem to be drying out, add cooking liquid as needed; the mixture should be slightly saucy.
Stir in the pepper, scallions and the dill, then remove from the heat and allow to steam, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes.
Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed; serve warm.
Note: To peel tomatoes, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato and remove the stem. Place in the boiling water for 10 or 15 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to quickly transfer to the ice water. The skin should slip off.
POTATO SALAD WITH FIELD PEAS, CELERY AND CHERRY TOMATOES
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
2 pounds fingerling potatoes
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 to 4 ribs celery, diced
2 tablespoons brined capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked field peas, well drained
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, any color, each cut into quarters
Serves four to six.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add half of the salt and the potatoes; cook for 10 to 15 minutes or just until the potatoes can be easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Drain and rinse with cool water.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut each one vertically into quarters (like thick slices), transferring them to a mixing bowl as you work, along with the onion, celery, capers, field peas and 3 tablespoons of the parsley.
Whisk together the mayonnaise and the oil in a small bowl until blended, then whisk in the lemon juice. Season with the remaining salt and the pepper.
Pour over the potato mixture and toss to coat. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust the seasoning as needed. Gently fold in the tomatoes and serve, garnished with the remaining parsley.
FIELD PEA FRIED RICE WITH EGGPLANT AND PEPPERS
1 pound slender Asian eggplant
1/4 cup peanut oil or sesame oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 medium onion, diced
12 ounces sweet red peppers, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 red jalapeno pepper or other hot red chili pepper, seeds and membranes removed for less heat, if desired, diced (optional)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cooked day-old rice
1 1/2 cups cooked field peas, such as purple-hull or black-eyed, drained well (may use frozen/defrosted)
3 tablespoons minced chives (optional)
Trim the eggplant and cut it into cubes about 3/4-inch square.
Heat a large, flat-bottomed wok or wide, deep skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the oil and swirl to coat; heat for a minute. Add the eggplant pieces and stir to coat. Cook, tossing occasionally, until their edges begin to crisp a little and turn golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a platter and arrange in a single layer; season with1/4 teaspoon of the salt.
Return the skillet to medium heat (with whatever oil’s in it); add 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of oil; heat for 1 minute. Add the onion and stir to coat; cook for 2 minutes, then add the sweet and hot peppers and1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the onion is translucent and the peppers are picking up a little color around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the thyme, garlic, smoked paprika and1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper, and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the rice and1/4 teaspoon of salt to the onion-pepper mixture in the skillet, stirring until well coated. Cook for about 3 minutes, tossing and folding just occasionally to allow the rice to crisp on the bottom of the pan.
Add the field peas, tossing to incorporate. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until everything is heated through. Return the cooked eggplant to the pan, gently combine and cook for 1 minute or until just heated through.
Stir in the chives, if using, the remaining1/4 teaspoon of salt and the remaining1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Serve hot.