As I mentioned in my spring break post, I spent the first week of break on the beautiful island of Hilton Head in South Carolina. I was happy to be free of the college food scene, which revolves around dining halls, and looking forward to making meals from scratch in a large kitchen with a stocked pantry and spice cabinet. When my friends and I got out of the car after a twelve-hour drive and walked up to the house, I knew upon walking in that my dreams of a week full of delicious food would come true. It’s funny, isn’t it, that we drove all the way to a resort town only to stock up on groceries so we could cook in the house. We only went to restaurants on the island to hang out at happy hour.
The weather was a delightful change from the blustery cold winds of New Haven, and the girls and I were really excited about going to the beach, where the sun would hopefully give us some color to brag about–or at least, to help our pallid complexions look a little more lively. For our first day at the beach we packed leftovers from dinner, some apples, and some snacks in our food bag and lounged out under the warm sun. I was eager to experiment with an extra can of black-eyed peas that we had sitting in the pantry. A while back, I mentioned that my friend Allie made a delicious herbed white bean dip for a dinner party and I was curious to see whether I could make something similar out of the legumes I had on hand. I figured that crackers and dip would make a great snack on the warm sand of the beach. Not only would we be getting some much-needed sun, we’d also be getting plenty of fiber and protein.
I didn’t have any fresh herbs on hand, but found plenty of dried sage, rosemary, basil, and oregano in the pantry. I remembered that what stood out in the white bean dip recipe I’d been so impressed by was the harmony of sage, olive oil, the slight tang of lemon juice, and pureed beans. So I pulled out the food processor, rinsed the beans, put them, and whirred them into a paste, helping them along with a couple tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. The dip tasted great! The lemon juice really brought out the flavors of the herbs and added a brightness to it that matched the sunny weather. The recipe is really versatile–if you’re not a fan of sage, you’re welcome to use other herbs. I’ll be making this recipe again as soon as the sun starts shining up here in New Haven.
Black-eyed Pea Dip (serves 6-8)
1 15-oz can of black-eyed peas
2 tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil (or more if you prefer a creamier dip)
1/2 tsp. dried sage (you can also use fresh)
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Put beans, extra-virgin olive oil, herbs, and lemon juice into a food processor. Salt and pepper to taste.