This simple meal can be ready in about 30 minutes. A lovingly spiced homemade tomato sauce gives life to black eyed peas, and late season peaches bloom in sweetness under a broiler. This is a budget friendly meal, perfect for weeknights.
We spent last Saturday in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Some travel site named it a hippie hideout, perhaps a rarity among this conservative Midwestern landscape.
Our town is kind of blue too, but it leans much more towards the Park Slope Lulelemon kind of blue, whereas Yellow Springs has a scrappier spirit.
The town is named after the springs themselves, which are actually quite rusty instead of yellow, due to the ferric rocks on which they tumble. Sipping directly from these springs is supposed to boost health or something. I drank from them for my own amusement and to make Jason roll his eyes. The water tasted almost bloody, but less saline. High iron content will do that.
We hiked around some rocky gorges, the groves of my boots caking with mud. Jason did a yoga pose by the shallows and when we got home I showed him the JP Sears yoga video. It was a good day.
His parents came too. It was their idea, actually. We dropped them off on a flat bike path several miles out of town, because I wanted to hike and they wanted to ride. After our little hike, Jas and I slipped into a breezy air conditioned bar for a short drink and I played lots of Avetts on the jukebox while sipping whiskey. I was pleased to see that some of the people around me were mouthing the words to the songs. They are more illustrious with each passing day, but there are still many who are unfamiliar with their music.
After drinks we met his parents for dinner. The place was good, admittedly pricey but with a lot of veggie friendly options. I’m accustomed to the kind of menus were I have maybe three or four choices tops. Here there were so many choices I had a hard time narrowing it down. I ended up going with a everything-and-the-kitchen sink type of salad, but another dish had also caught my eye. It was described is Cayman black eye peas with jerk grilled peaches, with a side of rice. I was inspired to try it at home.
Since I didn’t have any Caribbean spices on hand, Cayman or jerk or otherwise, I reworked with Middle Eastern flavors instead. A few scoops of baharat spice got stirred into a quick tomato sauce and spooned over protein rich black eyed peas. I don’t have a grill at home, so I just broiled the peaches for a sec. They sweet and tangy juiced paired seamlessly with the baharat sauce. I’m glad I waited to make this at home, because it was actually a super cheap dish, and I made it for a fraction of the price I would have a payed at the restaurant.
What did y’all do last weekend?
P.S. Speaking of homemade tomato sauce, I am fo sho tucking away this freaking amazing crushed tomato sauce for when I made something more Italian. I’m also loving this guide on how to perfectly cook dried beans.
Baharat Black Eyed Peas with Broiled Peaches
The following recipe makes enough for about three to four people. If you have leftover sauce, just freeze it for a later use.
- one 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, unseasoned
- one 14 oz can lite coconut milk
- 1 1/2 tsp crushed or grated garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp baharat
- salt to taste
- 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 cups prepared black eyed peas
- 6-8 peaches, sliced thickly (about 1/4 inch)
- Whisk together the crushed tomatoes and the coconut milk
- Pour a small amount of the tomato-coconut mix into a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about two minutes, until garlic is fragrant. Turn off heat.
- Stir in the brown sugar and baharat. Add the bay leaf.
- Pour in remaining coconut-tomato mix and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Add salt to taste
- In the final minutes of the sauce cooking, set one stove rack right under the broiler, and the other rack on the lowest rung. Place a baking sheet on this low rack.
- Turn on the broiler and gently lay the peaches directly on the high rack. Broil for 2 minutes each side, turning very very very gently.
- Warm the peas and spoon them into serving dishes, along with the sauce. Layer the peaches on top.
- Serve with love and corn tortillas.