Thursday, June 24, 2010

Warm Salad of Mustard Greens and Black-Eyed Peas

So last night was the first meal we made with our CSA stuff. Kerrie found this dish last year and as soon as we saw mustard greens were coming we planned on making it again. Here is the original recipe. We made of couple of changes and omissions so I won't bother reprinting the recipe, just what we did differently.
We used Canadian bacon instead of real bacon, not my first choice really, but in an effort to eat a healthier it was OK. Bacon and Red wine are two things that must be consumed as quickly as possible so once I open a package of bacon I will eat it in everything until it's gone. Since the Canadian bacon doesn't release fat in the way that regular bacon does you will need to add some oil to the pan to cook it in.

We omitted the jalapeno becuase we didn't have one, we didn't have one last year either so I don't know how it works in the dish, I would substitute some crushed red pepper if you want the heat.

We also didn't have green onions, so we used some of the chives from our garden, this was not a good substitute. In the few minutes of cooking the  larger pieces of chive picked up a woody texture that was not a pleasant thing, stick with green onions.

If you have never had mustard greens don't be intimidated, they have peppery mustardy taste that is reminiscent of arugula but with a much heartier flavor and texture. They are definitely a cooking green, raw you get all of the pepper and none of the other flavors

Oh and don't skip the caraway, it is an unexpected element in the overall flavor and it really sets off the vinegar and the black eyed peas. I would recommend dry toasting the caraway seeds before using them, it helps them to release their flavor a bit more and makes them blend in to the whole dish rather than just being a flavor when you happen to get one in a bite.  Just put them in a dry frying pan over medium high heat and shake them  periodically until they start to smell like caraway. It only takes a couple of minutes but really helps with any dry seeds, caraway, cumin, mustard, etc


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