When cooked properly, Field Peas are full of flavor delicious unique to only themselves.
Here are tips on how to cook them perfectly.
Crowder, Dixie Lee, Mississippi Silver, Old Timer, White Acre, Red Ripper, Big Boy, Stick Up, Pole Cat, Wash Day, Rattle Snake, Purple Hull, Bird, Iron Clay…
These are just a few of the eclectic names for the beloved summer southern crop known as the Field Pea.
Why so many names? There are hundreds of names for the little peas because there are hundreds of varieties, each special in their own way.
During this relentless, humid, hotter than Hades weather here in the South; it helps to know our beloved Field Pea is now in season!
In the summertime, at the Farmer’s Market, these little peas are a prized commodity.
They are as classic of an icon to the southern table as Sweet Tea, Fried Chicken, and Cornbread; but rarely heard of up North.
What makes these tiny peas so special?
When cooked properly, these tender peas are full of flavor unique to only themselves.
And no; they are nothing like the dull flavored canned Peas…
Their freshness from the garden is what makes them so good.
It really is best to eat them in the summer time.
Tips on how to cook field peas
There is an art form in cooking our southern field peas.
Here are some tips on how to cook tender, flavorful field peas:
- If you add too much water, they will lack in flavor. If you add too little water, they will turn out crunchy. An important step is to only add enough water to barely cover the peas. I like to use a chicken or vegetable broth for more flavor.
- Most cooks add in a form of pork, whether it be bacon drippings, fatback, ham hock, or salted pork… The meat not only develops the flavor but also acts as a thickener to the bean pot. Without this step, the peas can be rather boring.
- Top your field peas with tomatoes, hot peppers, and or onions, and serve with a side of cornbread; this makes a delicious, warm, flavorful meal. We call these types of dishes Soul Food because they make your belly full and your heart warm. My Mother-In-Law and Father-In-Law makes the best Field Peas. After years of practicing, I am getting close, but I will never make them quite as good as they do.
How to Freeze Field Peas:
Because you can’t get them in the winter, many people freeze them for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Sunday dinners.
Here are the steps on how to freeze field peas:
- Wash field peas really well.
- Blanch them by adding them in a pot of boiling water, cover with a lid, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the peas from the boiling water. Drain well and cool immediately in ice water. Once chilled, drain well from the ice water.
- Store them in air-tight containers, leaving ½-inch headspace. You can also store them in plastic freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Seal, and freeze up to 6 months.
If you like this recipe, check out some of these other tasty Southern recipes:
- Easy Southern Banana Pudding
- How to Cook Collard Greens
- Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
- French Onion Chicken Noodle Casserole
- Southern Cornbread
- Tomato Grits Casserole
- Instant Pot Fried Cabbage
- Southern Coleslaw
- Southern Classic Chicken and Pastry
- Granny Moore’s Dressing