Greens, Field Pea and Cornbread Casserole Recipe
In the August issue of AY About You that goes to press this week, our editor, Dustin Jayroe, spent some time talking to Eric Herget of Heights Corner Market. And what he found out is that Herget loves to grow many of the vegetables that he sells at the quaint grocery store in the Heights. One of the big sellers at HCM is any pea variety. And by combining them with some bitter greens and cornbread, you have yourself a delicious explosion of flavors. This will be your perfect summer staple.
Greens, Field Pea and Cornbread Casserole (serves 8-10)
Adapted from www.thedirt.georgiaorganics.org
- 4 cups slow-simmered field peas (lady peas will do as they are a delicacy)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large bunch mustard or other fall greens, washed, stemmed and chopped, (about 1 pound trimmed)
- ½ cup crème fraiche or sour cream
- 2 to 4 tablespoons hot sauce, to taste
- 1 cup fine cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and set aside. Heat the batch of cooked peas and set aside. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add mustard greens and season lightly. Cook, turning with tongs, until the greens are wilted and tender, about eight minutes. You may need to add a bit of liquid from the cooked peas to help wilt the greens.
Remove from heat. Pour off most of the cooking liquid from the peas and reserve. Add the cooked peas to the wilted greens. Stir in the crème fraiche and hot sauce to the field pea and greens mixture, adding a little of the reserved pea cooking liquid to make a smooth sauce.
Spread the pea and greens mixture into the prepared baking dish and check the level of liquid. Add more of the reserved cooking liquid from the peas to come about halfway up the solids, and gently stir to combine. Keep the mixture hot while you make the cornbread topping.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Whisk the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients, then whisk in the melted butter. Carefully pour the cornmeal mixture evenly over the hot peas and greens mixture, covering the entire surface. Bake until cornbread topping is set and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.