Southern End of Summer Medley is a celebration of not only Southern cuisine, but also the official end of summer. Tomorrow is Labor Day. While a typical Labor Day celebration features something on the grill, it’s just too hot to think about that. Therefore, for this year my focus is on some of the South’s plentiful bounty.
When I set out to visit the local farmers’ market, my goal was to purchase some creamer potatoes. However, the tables were piled high with end of season corn on the cob, tomatoes and fresh white acre peas.
Whenever I purchase fresh corn on the cob, I always smell it. If it has an earthy smell, then I know that it’s fresh. Otherwise, I don’t bother. The bi-color corn passed the smell test, so I added some to my cart.
I also smell tomatoes before purchasing them. The more intense their smell, the more flavorful the tomatoes will be. The tomatoes today definitely passed the smell test and were also added to my cart.
Last up was a heaping tray of freshly shelled white acre peas. My sister at Grits and Pinecones had a recipe for the Southern Fresh White Acre Peas that I’ve been wanting to try, so I couldn’t resist adding these to my cart as well.
On the way home, I decided that our dinner would be a Southern End of Summer Medley including my sister’s Southern Fresh White Acre Peas (Photo 1) which I’ll describe below. I also decided that I would add my Tomato Vidalia Onion and Cucumber Summer Salad (Photo 2), Cajun Corn Maque Choux (Photo 3) and Southern Cornbread Sticks (Photo 4).
Ingredients for Southern White Acre Peas
In addition to the fresh white acre peas, this delicious dish included onions, garlic, ham, salt and pepper.
If you wanted to make this vegetarian, you could omit the ham.
Making the Southern White Acre Peas
Making the Southern White Acre Peas was quite easy, as is typical of many of the recipes at Grits and Pinecones.
I started by sautéing the onions in some olive oil in a saucepan over medium low heat (Photo 5). It took about 7 minutes before the onions became tender. Then, I added the garlic and cooked the mixture until the garlic was fragrant (Photo 6). This took about 30 seconds.
Next, I added the ham and gave the mixture a stir (Photo 7). Finally, I added the peas, salt, pepper and water (Photo 8). I made sure that water covered the peas by about 1 inch.
I increased the heat to high and brought the mixture to a boil. Then, I reduced the heat to low and simmered the peas uncovered for about 20 minutes until they were tender.
I noticed that at first, a fair amount of scum developed on the top of the water. Using a large spoon, I scooped the scum out and continued cooking the peas.
During the cooking, I tasted the peas to make sure that I didn’t overcook them. The peas that I got were on the small size. Had they been larger, it would have taken a bit more cooking time.
The white acre peas were delicious and perfectly seasoned.
I served the Southern White Acre Peas with my Tomato Vidalia Onion and Cucumber Summer Salad, Cajun Corn Maque Choux and Southern Cornbread Sticks. They perfectly complimented the other dishes for a healthy and delicious Southern End of Summer Medley. Happy Labor Day! Yum!
If you liked the recipe for Southern White Acre Peas, you should check out my sister’s amazing recipes at Grits and Pinecones!
I hope you liked this recipe for Southern White Acre Peas as well as the recipes for the other Southern delicaciesfeatured in this post as much as I do. If so, please consider rating it and leaving a comment. Also, if you’d like to receive notifications of new posts by email, ever your email address in the Subscribe box.
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Southern White Acre Peas
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped ham (See Tip 1)
- 3 cups fresh shelled white acre peas, rinsed and picked over
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups water (See Tip 2)
- Fresh chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion; sauté until tender, about 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant. (See Tip 3)
- Add the ham; stir to combine. Add the peas kosher salt, pepper and water. If necessary, add more water to cover the peas by at least an inch. Increase heat to high and bring peas to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; simmer the peas uncovered for about 20-25 minutes or until peas are done. (See Tip 4)
- Correct the seasonings. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired and serve.
- Yield: 4 servings
Chula's Expert Tips
- For a vegetarian dish, omit the ham.
- If necessary, add more water to ensure that the water level was about 1-inch above the peas.
- Watch the garlic carefully to make sure that it doesn't burn.
- Taste a few to check for seasoning and to see if they are done. If not continue cooking for a few more minutes. The fresher the peas are, and the smaller they are, the less time they will need to cook.