I just had one week of R&R in Grasse and Nice, in Southern France. I met my Dallas neighbor and friend Mary there and we stayed in a restored monastery. The landscape in the region bears striking resemblance with the Lebanese one. I picked-up a cookbook and noticed similarities in the cuisine as well. Most of the restaurants of course had salade niçoise on the menu, and the classic stuffed veggies farçis and seafood dishes. The heat wave though was not conducive to heavy meals and this classic Lebanese legume dish, cooked in tomato sauce and served at room temperature, would have fit the bill as well.
The top picture was taken while visiting a charming place there called Gourdon. The bottom picture is in Lebanon.
Blackeyed peas in tomato sauce
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Passive Time: 40 minutes
1/3 cup olive oil extra virgin
2 cups onion, chopped white or yellow
1/2 pound blackeyed peas or substitute 2 cans, drained and rinsed
3 pounds tomatoes, peeled, diced or substitute cans of chopped tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, mashed in a mortar or chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt to taste
1/3 cup chopped scallions or parsley or celery
1/4 cup tomato paste optional, if the tomatoes are not flavorful enough
1. Soak the peas in plenty of water overnight. Drain and set aside while you stew the onions and tomatoes.
2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven. Panfry the onions till translucent and add the garlic last. Add the tomatoes and stew, covering the pan and lowering the heat, for about 15 minutes. Add the peas and an extra 2 cups of water and simmer gently about 45 minutes. Uncover and season to taste. If necessary, add the tomato paste halfway through the cooking for extra tomato flavor. Serve at room temperature with extra olive oil and pita bread.
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