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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Black-Eyed Pea and Pumpkin Salad

By Juvy S. Iliwiliw

"Provisions" are what share the plate with a main dish. Fried bananas are de rigueur. Martinique alone has 50 different sorts, from monster green plaintains to plump red ones to sweet thumb-size yellow jobs. Cassava is another favorite, along with yams or sweet potatoes. And there are the "peas," possible black-eyed peas, but just as often any of a number of different tasty beans. In the islands, black-eyed peas are known as black-eyed beans. This is now your time to share your "provisions" to someone especially to your family by serving this black-eyed pea and pumpkin salad recipe.

You will need:

1 cup dried black-eyed peas
4 cups water

½ medium onion
½ teaspoon salt

1½ cups ½-inch cubes seeded peeled sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (about 6 ounces)
3 tablespoons water
1 small garlic clove, minced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
¼ cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1 plum tomato, seeded, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Here's how:

For peas: Place peas in large saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 3 inches. Let peas soak 2 hours. Drain peas; return to same pan. Add 4 cups water, onion, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium, cover partially, and simmer until peas are tender, about 30 minutes. Discard onion and bay leaf. Drain. Transfer peas to rimmed baking sheet to cool. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For pumpkin: Preheat oven to 400oF. Arrange pumpkin in single layer in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons water and oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until tender when pierced, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add garlic; stir to coat. Cool.

For salad: Whisk oil and lime juice in bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Combine all remaining ingredients and peas in large bowl. Add dressing; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Add pumpkin; toss. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

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