Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cowpeas with Miso and Arugula Salad

Here are some photos of the ordered chaos. I am almost finished!!
Yesterday I picked up my grain share and there was (eureka!) a small jar of hand-crafted miso!! It is wonderfully mellow and salty. It is also soy free; made with purple cowpeas instead. Along with that was a one pound bag of Nigerian Cowpeas. They are considered a field bean or a shelling bean. I would interchange these in this recipe with black-eyed peas, mung beans or aduki beans which are in the genus Vigna along with cowpeas. This genus of beans are creamy, small beans that are easy to cook (60-80 mintes un-soaked). Because everything is almost packed here at my house, I decided to cook these beans that are on hand and thought the wonderful mellow miso would be a interesting flavor component. Baby arugula is at my coop and I knew that the peppery, lemon taste it has would be the perfect contrast. This dish has 5 ingredients! I topped it with the aged cheese also from my grain share, but any aged parmesean would work. I am glad it pulled together because M opened the fridge today and told me "Mama! We have no food in our house!" A favorite pastime of mine is to search the cabinets that have "nothing" in them and find a wonderful dish to make.
My small new house is painted now. The curtain rods are up, and it has been filled with love from all my friends who are showing up in work clothes to help M and I make our new place cozy. I can't wait to show all of you. I am saying goodbye to modern and hello to vintage. I will be honest and tell you Valentines Day was a sad day. I bought my little girl a dozen pink roses though. Showed up at kindergarten pick-up with the bouquet and she was pretty excited. Lemonade out of lemons. I can't do a thing to change people or their choices, but I can change my relationship to them and myself.  I am leaving for Cabo on monday. I am bringing my camera, but have not decided about bringing laptop or not. So in case we don't talk until I get back, I will thinking about you.

Cowpeas with Miso and Arugula Salad
makes 4 servings

1 cup dried cowpeas (or mung, blackeyed or aduki beans)
2 cups water (for cooking beans)
4 tsp. miso paste
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup shaved aged parmesean cheese
4 cups baby arugula

Examine beans for rocks before you cook them. Wash them if they are dusty.
Cook beans and water on low simmer covered for 1 hour. Taste for tenderness.

Toss arugula in a bowl with two tsp. of olive oil. Toss with your clean hands to coat all the pieces.

Shave the parmesean so you have at least 4 good shaved pieces for each serving.

After peas are cooked, scoop around 1/2 cup in each bowl and stir in 1 tsp. of miso for each bowl. After mixing in miso, top with arugula and then with cheese.


Becky said...

I wish I was close enough to paint a wall or two!

Sounds like you make great lemonade! I hope you have a wonderful time on your trip, I can't wait to hear about it.

Anonymous said...

this blog portrays your beautiful self and the lemonade you are making with such vividness. alongside images of disorder and a life now in boxes is the image of the most delicious home cooked meal. may your big heart and creative fire find spaciousness in your new home.

Anonymous said...

ah, jess, seeing the house packed and almost empty stung my heart a bit. jesus...just bizarre what time has brought you. i am, as always, in awe of your beauty and grace, (not to mention your delicious recipes). i love the story about m. and the roses and i still have my valentine for you. the lemonade i will be drinking is having a dear dear friend right around the corner instead of 40 minutes away. i cant wait for that part. all my love.

Nancy said...

Hi Jessica! As always, I am salivating over your latest kitchen concoction. The miso + arugula combination sounds delicious. I have some little brown tepary beans from Rancho Gordo so might try something similar with them. Have a wonderful, rejuvenating vacation and good luck with the rest of your move. Here's to making lemonade!!

Ashley said...

I'd love to have you look through my cabinets and come up with a concoction like that! That is a true skill.

Jessica said...

Nancy..tell me if you come up with something good with your rancho gordo beans... thanks. I love a good challenge..mostly!


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