Three pea sauté with (or without) turkey bacon recipe

three pea and turkey bacon sauté | pamela salzman

There was a time when I would watch those cooking competitions on Food Network and criticize anyone who used bacon in a recipe.  “Well, yeah it’s going to be good now!” I would shout at the tv.  I could have done that.  Try making something awesome without bacon.  That’s talent!  I also feel this way about feta.  Just makes everything so delicious.  Well if they can do it on “Chopped,” little ole me can do it here.  And so can you!  We’re going to take simple peas, like the kind you have in your freezer that no one gets all that excited about, and we’re going to liven them up with some turkey bacon, or regular bacon if you eat pork.  And everyone will fall in love with peas again.

leeks

And this is a good thing because peas are actually quite nutritious and many people always have them on hand.  Peas contain a healthy dose of protein (about 9 grams/cup).  I love peas mixed with rice for a complete protein.  Yum!  Peas are also loaded with Vitamin C, Vitamin K and manganese!   And they’re a good source of iron, folate, vitamin B1, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium and fiber.  The only thing I did read about peas that is not great is that they contain an anti-fertility compound, m-xylohydroquinone, so it might be a good avoid to avoid them if you’re trying to get pregnant.

three types of peas

For now, we’re going to stick with either fresh peas (unfortunately, kind of a pain in the neck to shell them and only sweet if they’re super fresh) or frozen ones.  I think there is an undeserved stigma attached to frozen vegetables, but there shouldn’t be.  Fortunately, freezing vegetables (and fruits) does not destroy their vitamins and minerals.  Maybe 10-15% of vitamin content is damaged, and Vitamin C is the biggest loser there.  But pretty much every fruit and vegetable has a good amount of Vitamin C so you’ll make up for it.  Canned vegetables, on the other hand, are a sad, depressing lot which always seems overcooked, in my opinion.  Beyond that, you’re also getting BPA with your veggies because of the can liners and BPA leaches.  Not cool.

leeks and bacon

 

three pea and turkey bacon sauté | pamela salzman

My entire family loves this incredibly simple side dish.  And it’s perfect for a busy family because you can make it in less than 10 minutes.  In the winter, I make it with all green peas.  But in the spring, I love using a mix of green peas, sugar snap peas (my favorites), and snow peas.  Green peas have the most protein and are eaten shelled.  Sugar Snap Peas, which are plump and crisp, are a cross between regular peas and Snow Peas which are flat.  Both these types of peas are sweeter than garden peas, but a little less nutrient-dense.  Sugar Snaps and Snow Peas are both not shelled — you eat the whole thing.  I love to mix them together because I love all the different textures most of all, but believe me when I say it’s delicious with one type of pea if that’s what you’ve got.  For you veg heads, I’ve got you covered.  Omit the turkey bacon and season with smoked salt or a pinch of smoked paprika and sea salt.  Serve with poultry, lamb or fish, roasted vegetables or sautéed greens, or cauliflower mashed potatoes.  If you have ham leftover on Easter, dice it up and use that instead of the bacon.  Remember, St. Patrick’s day is coming up and your family will not be weirded out if you make an entirely green meal!  Peas anyone??

three pea and turkey bacon sauté | pamela salzman

three pea and turkey bacon sauté | pamela salzman

4.0 from 1 reviews
Three Pea Saute with (or without) Turkey Bacon
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons unrefined, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion finely chopped OR 1 leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned very well and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 slices nitrate-free turkey bacon*, diced
  • 1 pound frozen peas, thawed OR 1 cup thawed peas + 1 ½ cups snow peas (about 4 ounces) + 1 ½ cups sugar snap peas (about 4 ounces), trimmed
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion/leek and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes or until translucent.
  2. Stir in the turkey bacon and sauté for an additional 3 minutes, or until some of the edges of the bacon become a little golden.
  3. Add the peas, stock and salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes or until the peas are crisp tender and most of the stock is evaporated.
Notes
*You can also use ½ cup of diced pancetta or a high quality pork bacon if you prefer.

Farro and kale with roasted pears and turkey bacon

 

I hope your Christmas was merry.  We have been sharing a lovely week with my family in New York.   My mother really outdid herself and gave me Christmas day off, which was a gift unto itself.  If you read my post last week, you may remember the multitude of Christmas Eve traditions that continue to thrive in my family.   I was obsessing about our tradition where everyone brings a a fish dish to dinner except those who are pregnant, who can bring an (easy-to-make) salad instead.  So I did some detective work the week before the holiday and I was assured by all the newlyweds and those with more than 2 children that there would be no salad-making this year.   Hmmph.  All fish and pasta makes a very unbalanced meal according to yours truly, so I took it upon myself to start a new tradition whereby allowing a very NOT pregnant me to bring a salad.  Although making Brussels Sprout Salad by myself for 80 people was not taking the easy way out.  I was counting on my sisters and daughters to help, but they disappeared on me to go start a 1,000 piece puzzle.  Regardless, the sprouts were a huge hit, even with those who claim to hate Brussels sprouts (really?) and I was happy to provide something green and fresh for the meal.

But low and behold, just as everyone was comfortably wedged into his or her seat and practically finished eating, my cousin Marie pulled off a good one.  In a move of pure drama, she waltzed into the dining room untraditionally late with a giant wooden bowl and, you guessed it, asked “salad anyone?”  Well, let me tell you there’s nothing more a big Italian family likes than the thought of becoming bigger.  The squeals and cheers were deafening, especially to my husband seated 2 inches from me.  The applause lasted for a solid ten minutes.  More wine was poured and toasts were offered.  Still my favorite night of the year.

But at this point, I have had my fill of pasta and bread, cookies and wine.  I want my regular food back.  I want my whole grains and my BFF kale.  I want to make one of my favorite dishes, Farro and Kale with Roasted Pears and Turkey Bacon.  Vegetarians, don’t leave me here.  Just drop the bacon and we’ll stay friends.  This is too good to miss.  I love to pair this with a hearty salad of mixed greens, shaved fennel, and walnuts.  Ahhhhh…..almost meatless Monday.  Happy day.

I want you to make this and when you do, just make a little salad or a simple side of roasted vegetables.  If you need to, you can sub barley for the farro, and your favorite green for the kale, although isn’t kale your favorite?  Speaking of favorites, I can’t believe I have yet to post a recipe with my favorite fall fruit, pears.  Why is it that apples get all the attention at this time of year?  I think pears are so underappreciated, so versatile and so delicious.  I’m rooting for pears!  I’ll even post a simple, but luscious pear dessert on Friday, just in time for your New Year’s Eve party.  Goodness.  So much to celebrate.

Farro and Kale with Roasted Pears and Turkey Bacon
Author: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • 3 firm but ripe pears (about 1 ½ pounds), cored and cut into ¾-inch cubes (I used Bartlett)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ pound turkey bacon
  • 2 cups uncooked farro
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • ⅔ cup dry white wine (or chicken stock)
  • ¾ pound Tuscan kale (or kale of your choice), stems removed and roughly chopped, about 8 cups
  • 3-4 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, gently toss the pears with 1 Tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon thyme. Spread the pears out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon sea salt and several grinds of black pepper. Roast, turning occasionally until golden brown and fragrant, about 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
  2. On a large parchment-lined baking sheet, arrange the turkey bacon slices. Bake at 425 degrees until top is crisp. Turn once and cook the other side until crisp, about 15 minutes total. Remove from oven and allow to sit until cool enough to handle. Then chop coarsely.
  3. Rinse the farro and place in a large pot with a pinch of sea salt and enough water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring water to a boil and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well!
  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the wine. Return the pan to medium heat. Cook until most of the wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes, stirring often and removing any bits of flavor on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the kale and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the kale is just tender and still vibrant green, about 7 minutes. Stir halfway.
  5. In a large serving bowl, combine farro with lemon juice and butter. Stir in the kale and turkey bacon. Gently fold in the pears. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.