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Healthy Eating, Salads

Warm salad of black-eyed peas, wilted mustard greens and bacon

Warm salad of black-eyed peas, wilted mustard greens and bacon
Los Angeles Times

Beneath a thatch of wilted dandelion greens, the Christmas lima beans spill out, earthy and enticing, their pretty speckled markings still faintly visible after a few hours in the pot. This is the brilliant architecture of a taco so tasty ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes | Serves 4
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 2⁄3 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Scant 1 cup (6 ounces) dried black-eyed peas
  • 1 small dried bay leaf
  • 2 small sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt
  • 6 ounces bacon, preferably apple wood-smoked, cut crosswise into strips about 1 inch by 1/4 inch
  • 1 large bunch mustard greens, washed, stems removed and very roughly cut (about 12 cups loosely packed)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, preferably aged
  • 4 slices of good-quality country white bread
  • 2 cups mache

Step 1In a 2-quart lidded soup pot or cast-iron casserole, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the onions and garlic over medium-low heat until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 2When the vegetables are soft, add the dried beans, bay leaf and thyme and enough water to cover (1 1⁄2 to 2 cups). Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with the lid. After about 10 minutes, check the beans to make sure that there’s enough water (add more if necessary; there should be enough liquid to cover) and add three-fourths teaspoon salt. Continue cooking until tender, about 20 more minutes (this may vary). Take off the heat and set aside the beans. You should have about 3 cups of cooked beans.

Step 3While the beans are cooking, cook the bacon in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over low heat until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside; keep the pot on the heat.

Step 4In the same pot in which you cooked the bacon, over medium heat, add the mustard greens, a little at a time, stirring constantly so that they wilt. Add all the greens and stir to coat. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until the greens are wilted, dark green and very tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside.

Step 5Toast or grill the slices of bread. In a large bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons olive oil and the sherry vinegar. Add 3 cups of the cooked beans, the warm mustard greens, the bacon and the mâche. Toss the salad together until combined, then divide among four plates and top with a slice of toasted bread. Serve immediately.

Note: Mache can be found at farmers markets and well-stocked supermarkets.


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