Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Southern Field Peas

Nothing says summer like fresh purple-hulled peas and sliced ripe tomatoes.   A pot of peas simmered with cured pork and served with cornbread is as iconic Southern as it gets.


  • 4 cups fresh shelled field peas, any variety
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 ounces of salt pork
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 small whole okra pods
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Carefully wash and pick over the peas.
Put the peas in a pot and cover with water.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
The peas will produce a lot of foam, skim foam off.
When the foaming stops add salt pork, oil and salt.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Place okra pods on top of the peas, cover the pot, and simmer another 15 minutes or until the peas are tender.
Taste carefully for seasoning.
The amount of salt you will need to add will depend on how salty your seasoning meat was.  
Serve hot with cornbread, fresh sliced tomatoes and a few slices of sweet onion.

Printable Recipe

Field pea and cowpea are names used for the southern pea. There are numerous types and varieties with many old family favorites. Gardeners classify peas in the following ways: seed color, pea size and shape, and pod color. Small-sized pea and pod types are referred to as lady peas. Other common types are crowders, creams, blackeyes, pinkeyes, purple hulls, and silver skins.
This legume is really not a pea, but a bean. Dried mature  field peas are high in protein (24%) and a complete protein. Unlike many other legumes, field peas are also a complete protein when picked fresh. The protein content in the fresh pea is lower, due to higher water content, but fresh peas have an excellent essential amino acid profile.