Growing up in South Arkansas my childhood was filled with fresh-garden treats, and chief among them, were purple hull peas. I spent many a summer day, perched on the end of my grandparent’s Watermelon Table helping shell bushels of purple hull peas. (For the unfamiliar, a Watermelon Table is a large wooden outdoor table constructed for the purpose of eating watermelons —and shelling peas of course). And as many peas as I helped shell, I devoured more —and still do!
Mostly, purple hull peas should be prepared simply and enjoyed with cornbread. But this season, Eldest Son of Boar suggested a purple hull pea taco creation.
Who am I to refuse such an indulgence?
Purple Hull Pea Tacos garnished with Fried Okra and Zucchini Salad
Purple hull peas (cooked in salt water until tender)
Habanero peppers (two, chopped)
Sweet Onion (one, chopped)
Minced Garlic (two cloves)
Ground White Pepper
Fresh Tomatoes (chopped)
Zucchini (one medium size sliced paper thin)
Balsamic vinegar (I used a Violet flavored)
With a small amount of olive oil sauté the onion, peppers, and garlic over medium low heat until softened (ten to fifteen minutes).
Drain the cooked purple hull peas and add them to the pan. Add the seasonings and stir to mix being careful not to crush the peas.
Add about a cup of the liquid from the peas to the pan and simmer over low heat to allow the spices to meld (about twenty minutes).
For the zucchini salad season the slices with sea salt and black pepper. Toss with fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, chop the okra into bite-size rounds and lightly batter with seasoned cornmeal (I use creole seasoning). Fry the okra in a small amount of oil over medium-high temperature until browned. (I like to use walnut oil as it brings out the nuttiness in the okra).
Assemble the tacos by putting a spoon full of purple hull peas into a warmed corn tortilla (may want a double tortilla as they tend to tear). Next, add a spoon full of fried okra, zucchini salad, chopped fresh garden tomatoes, and a slice of lemon. Serve with slice or two of watermelon.
Indulge in the purple hulls, my friend.