Warm Salad of Black-Eyed Peas

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I first saw fresh black-eyed peas in a supermarket in Cambridge, Massachusetts, about fifteen years ago, tried them hot with a vinaigrette as an accompaniment to baked ham, and fell in love. They came—and still come—in little plastic packets. This dish is meant as a lunch course or a substantial first course and is accompanied by corn muffins.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh black-eyed peas
  • 4 large slices ripe tomato
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 rounds fresh goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • salt
  • 16 slices pancetta or lean bacon
  • ½ tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves, finely chopped
  • cups chicken stock
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, finely chopped

Method

Rinse the peas and set aside to drain.

Put the tomato slices in a dish. Mix the vinegar with salt and pepper and whisk in the olive oil. Pour this vinaigrette over the tomatoes and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Roll the edges of the goat cheese rounds in the parsley.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

Heat the oven to 375°F.

Put the bacon on a rack and bake until just crisp, about 10 minutes.

While the bacon is cooking, cook the peas in the boiling water for 8 minutes. Drain and transfer them to a sauté pan. Add the marjoram and stock. Bring to a boil; then simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the bacon from the oven, drain on paper towels, and keep hot.

Add the butter and bell pepper to the peas and stir until the butter is incorporated. Season and spoon onto warm plates. Put a tomato slice in the center of each plate, then the goat cheese in the center of the tomato, and the bacon over the peas.

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