Fresh Field Peas Recipe – KOX (2024)

Fresh Field Peas Recipe – KOX (1)

Field peas, fresh from the garden, are a great side dish to all types of meals. There’s just aspecial deliciousness toanything straight out of the garden that you don’t find in canned or frozen items. Here’s a quick and easy side dish that’s perfect for dinner through the week or…on Sunday.

Fresh Field Peas Recipe – KOX (2)

Field Peas Recipe:

One of my friends at the auction house I visit each week, recentlygave me a bag of freshly shelled Field Peas. I was very thankful to receive them…especially since they were already shelled….and, I was eager to cook them up as soon as I could.

I never was one that enjoyed trying to shell peas or butter beans. I always bitemy fingernails so I don’t usually have any to actually use in shelling peas and beans of any type. Maybe that was why I started my nail biting in the first place, as a means to get out of shelling peas.

Fresh vegetables just have a totally awesome different taste than those that are canned or frozen. During the summer, they are usually available already shelled at our local roadside stands or at the North Carolina State Farmers Market about 45 minutes away.

This variety is known as a Six Week Pea but Field Peas come as Crowder Peas, Purple Hull Peas and some other varieties. All will be a great side dish and all are prepared pretty much the same way. So, grab some when you can and….Let’s Get Cooking!

Field Peas Recipe: You’ll need these ingredients.

My seasoning of choice for this dish is known as Side Meat. It’s the same cut as a slab of bacon and has been cured but not smoked. Bacon will work, bacon grease will work, salt pork and a few others will work. It’s whatever you have on hand or whatever you personally prefer.

Side meat is available in packages in the meat department of most grocery stores. Just a couple of miles from my home, we’ve got a produce stand that sells it. They keep it hanging in a cabinet inside their building and you just tell them about how much you’d like to purchase. They open the door, slice off a hunk, wrap it in butchers paper, weigh it and collect your money. It’s pretty much the way it was done many years ago. Just cut off a few small pieces of the side meatfor the recipe.

Place the slices in a sauce pot and turn the heat to about medium to let it cook down. We want to fry it down a bit to extract the flavors.

Yellow or white onions will work for this recipe. I just happened to have a couple of Spring Onions on hand and wanted to use those. I’ve rinsed it off under cool running water.

Slice off the root end of the onion.

Remove the outer leaf of the onion. It’s usually really easy to spot, just pull it off and discard.

Slice the onion in half and line up the pieces.

Slice the onion.

Fry up the side meat until it’s golden brown. Then, remove the pieces of meat from the pot but, leave the grease in.

Add about 2 cups of water to the sauce pot. You need enough water to cover the peas by about an inch so it will really depend on how many peas you are cooking as to how much water you’ll need.

Bring the water up to a low boil and then add the peas.

Add in the onions.

Drop in about one teaspoon of sugar. Sugar was mama’s secret ingredient in about all of her vegetables when she cooked them.

Stir it all together and let it come back up to a low boil. It’s going to start foaming up a bit and we’ll want to remove that.

As the peas heat up, you’ll probably start seeing some foam in the sauce pot. This is natural with the fresh peas but we want to scoop it out.

Grab a spoon and scoop off the foam. Discard it.

Cover the peas and reduce the heat to about medium-low. Let them simmer until done.

After about 25-35 minutes, take out a small spoonful of the peas and taste them for doneness. Peas need to be fully cooked, but not mushy.

Add in the Black Pepper.

Add the salt and let the peas continue to cook until they’re done to your liking. If by chance the water has cooked out of them, just add a little more to keep them slightly covered and let them cook.

The side meat has a skin that fries up hard. Take your knife and slice the hard section away. Chop the remaining pieces of meat and add them to your pot of peas. The remaining hard pieces make a great snack to chew on while you work. Just saying.

Serve them up warm with your favorite meats. Of course, they can almost be a complete meal within themselves. Maybe garnish them with a little more freshly chopped onion, grab a piece of cornbread and just dig in.The peas went very well with myfreshly sliced tomatoes. Enjoy!

Fresh Field Peas Recipe – KOX (2024)


Can you eat field peas raw? ›

The peas are edible at each stage. Snaps can be eaten raw, macerated in vinaigrette, or gently cooked, similar to haricots vert.

What is the difference between field peas and cowpeas? ›

Southern peas, black-eyed peas and field peas are all names for the crop known worldwide as cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata ssp. unguiculata). Cowpeas probably originated in Africa and were introduced to the United States during early colonial times. They quickly became a staple crop in the Southeast.

How long do fresh peas take to cook? ›

How to cook peas. Boil (2-3 mins - use the minimum amount of water needed, and don't add salt, as they'll toughen up. A pinch of sugar will bring out their sweetness). Steam (1-2 mins).

Which peas are not edible? ›

Garden or English Peas

The pods of garden peas are not edible.

Which peas can you not eat raw? ›

English peas, sometimes referred to as shelling or garden peas, are not poisonous. However eating English peas raw can cause certain problems for at-risk individuals. Fresh garden peas contain both lectins and phytic acid. Lectins can cause gas and bloating, while phytic acid interferes with the absorption of minerals.

Should fresh peas be soaked before cooking? ›

Soaking is strongly recommended for all beans and peas, except lentils and black-eyed peas, for even cooking and to remove water-soluble, gas-producing starches. Soaking can be done using the traditional or the quick-soak method. TRADITIONAL METHOD: Clean and rinse beans; cover with three times as much water as beans.

Can you put up fresh peas without blanching? ›

If you decide to NOT blanch your peas before freezing, try to use those up within two to three months. Frozen peas that haven't been blanched tend to discolor a bit when cooked. Unblanched frozen peas would be perfect for adding to soups or something like this Instant Pot Beef Stew.

How long will fresh field peas last in the fridge? ›

How To Store Fresh Field Peas. If you have leftovers, put them in an airtight container, and store them in the fridge. They'll last up to one week if stored properly. You can freeze cooked field peas, too.

When to pick field peas? ›

For fresh use, harvest when seeds have filled the green pods, but before seeds have hardened. For dried use, make sure to harvest dried pods before rain or else seeds will mold.

Are field peas healthy? ›

Field pea seed is a rich source of protein, carbohydrate, and some minerals, although the nutritional content of the seed varies with the environment and genetic factors.

Are black-eyed peas and field peas the same thing? ›

The black-eyed pea is the most commonly available variety of all field peas—and what many are likely most familiar with. It's also arguably the most humble variety of field peas: Though many favor it as a Southern staple or traditional holiday food, it doesn't have the most robust flavor of the bunch.

Are fresh peas better than frozen? ›

Springtime is fresh pea season. But the good news is that frozen peas allow you to get the health benefits of peas year-round, because they are frozen at their peak—helping to preserve their nutrients. Frozen peas are packed with all the protein, fiber, and other nutrients found in fresh ones.

Do you need to wash fresh peas? ›

Whether whole pod Sugar Snap Peas or shelled out English Peas it is always best to give them a good rinse.

Can you overcook fresh peas? ›

Overcooking them

Peas are naturally sweet and, when cooked perfectly, have that delightful "pop" in your mouth as they burst. Overcooked peas don't have that lovely texture. Instead, they're mushy, they lose their sweetness, and their bright green color leaches out, leaving them an unappetizing brown.

Can humans eat field peas? ›

The field pea is a pulse, the edible seed of a plant, which is used dry in livestock feed and for human food (particularly in predominantly vegetarian cuisines).

Are all field peas edible? ›

There are no less than 22 known varieties and many are delicious (and chef-approved). In hues of purple, pink, red, brown, and yes, black-and-white, field peas grow in long pods. They vary in size, texture, and flavor, from meaty and nutty to tender and herbaceous.

What is the difference between field peas and green peas? ›

Field pea is commonly grown as a cover crop, or, in more arid regions, for its smooth dried seeds used as food or feed crops. Garden pea is more commonly grown in New England for fresh market use. Garden peas contain higher sugar and lower starch contents than field peas and have wrinkled mature seeds.

Are wild peas safe to eat? ›

You can use wild peas at all stages of growth. I like the pretty flowers as a garnish for a dish (they taste like peas), and the young pea shoots are every bit as good as the kind you get at fancy farmer's markets. As for the peas themselves, I've eaten them anywhere from the “snow pea” stage all the way to dry beans.


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