Community chef and advocate BJ Dennis is known and adored for his Gullah-Geechee cuisine. This month, he’s sharing one of his favorite Lowcountry field pea recipes: stew peas. To recreate this simple, hearty dish, you’ll need fresh field peas, four ripe Johns Island tomatoes and a hot pepper.
- 4 large ripe Johns island tomato diced skin on or off (try Rosebank Farms)
- 3 cups fresh field peas (try Old Tyme Bean Co.)
- 1 small onion diced (try Spade & Clover Gardens)
- 1 small sweet pepper diced (try a bell pepper from Watsonia)
- Fresh hot pepper of choice minced to taste (try Spade & Clover Gardens)
- Garlic and ginger minced tablespoon each or to personal preference
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- Bay leaf
- Chopped parsley or your favorite herb
- Water or Stock
Add your oil of choice to a small pot, just enough to cover the bottom. Next, over high heat, add tomatoes and stir constantly. Add more oil when tomatoes start to stick. Cook for about five minutes, then add remaining ingredients except for peas and water. Cook for another three minutes, adding oil if necessary. Then, add your peas and water to cover. Season and cook uncovered until peas are done.
Chef’s note: Your peas should be creamy to the bite. Not al dente, but right after al dente.