This recipe has been a staple at Blackberry Farm, the source of our new Thanksgiving menu, for years. With fresh shell beans, roasted garlic and herbs, it makes a beautiful starter for a fall feast. In place of the black-eyed peas, you can use any cooked shell bean, such as fresh limas or favas.
Crostini with Black-Eyed Pea Puree
1 lb. (500 g) dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and drained
4 garlic heads, roasted
1 cup (250 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp. chopped fresh chives
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Crostini for serving
Put the black-eyed peas in a large saucepan and add water to cover by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Bring to a boil and boil gently until the peas are very soft, about 1 hour, adding 2 Tbs. of the salt during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Drain the peas.
Cut the tops off the roasted garlic heads and squeeze out the garlic. Pass the peas and garlic through a food mill into a large bowl. Stir in the olive oil, cayenne, the remaining 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. salt, the black pepper, parsley, chives and lemon juice. Spread the pea puree on crostini and serve. Serves 8.