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This is based on a recipe from Frank Stitt’s Southern Table. I used frozen peas instead of fresh lady peas (it’s winter, so sue me!), and used steak instead of tuna.

I cooked the steak like the “Steak & Frites” from Everybody Eats Well in Belgium (basically, pan fried in butter) with a tip from Cook’s Illustrated: heat thick steaks in a 275F oven for 20 mins so they cook more evenly.

    • 2 cups (10 oz package) frozen tiny peas
    • 4 ribs celery, chopped
    • 2 shallots, finely chopped
    • 1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and diced
    • 2 Tbs olive oil
    • Zest & juice of 1 lemon
    • Freshly ground white pepper
    • 2 tsp rice vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp salt (or a little more, to taste)


Lightly peas so that they are soft and bright green, but not mushy. Then rinse in cold water to cool and prevent over cooking. Combine with other ingredients, and adjust salt to taste.


or Debris Risotto: clearing out the last of the week’s leftovers and coming up with a lunch that didn’t require leaving the house.

  • 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 strips bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tbs leftover pork chop sauce
  • Splash of white wine
  • 2 cups cooked short-grain rice
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup cooked black-eyed peas

Sautee onion and bacon in olive oil until bacon is browned. Add sauce and wine, bring to a boil, then add rice and stir until heated. Add cheese and stir until melted and well-mixed, then stir in peas and continue cooking until heated through (I microwaved the peas to speed up the process).

Steak and Scaffata

Originally uploaded by ted_major

Tuscaloosa has a wonderful new local and organic framer’s market, and I picked up some organic fava beans from Snow’s Bend Farm, as well as some fresh English peas. Never having cooked fava beans before, I turned to epicurious, where I found a wonderful recipe for braised spring legumes that goes wonderfully with grilled steak.

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 scallions, white and tender parts sliced
  • 1 small sweet sping onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds fresh peas in the pod, shelled
  • 2 pounds fresh fava beans in the pod, shelled
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 cups thinly shredded romaine leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh mint leaves
  • 2 New York strip steaks, approximately 1/2 lb. each.

Salt each side of the steaks with coarse salt and set aside at room temperature while you prepare the peas and beans. Preheat the grill.

In a heavy dutch oven with a tight lid, sautee the scallions and onions in olive oil until soft, about 4 minutes. Add peas, beans, zucchini, and red pepper, and reduce heat to low. Stir, cover, and cook about 15 minutes.

Add romaine and mint, stir, and cover, Cook an additional 30 or 40 minutes until the beans are cooked but not mushy.

While the peas & beans finish cooking, grill the steaks over high heat, until done to your liking. Tent with foil, let rest about 10 mins, and then slice diagonally. Each steak should serve 2 people–dinner for 4 or dinner and lunch the next day for 2.