Friday, August 03, 2007

capucijner peas

dried purple pea pod a bowl of peas
capucijner peas in a pod

My purple podded Capucijner pea harvest is done. These are a Dutch soup pea that has been very lovely to grow this year with their bright pink flowers, 6-8 foot vines, and of course purple pods. The peas dried nicely in their pods as the vines turned yellow and dried also. I let most of the peas dry completely in their shells on the vines, but some I picked fully ripe but not dry and let dry inside in an open bowl. The bowl photo above has a mix of peas picked at varying times - from well dried peas picked a couple weeks ago to a few recently shelled peas that are still a bit green.

I have collected just shy of one cup of peas from the original 32 pea seeds I planted this spring. I figure that next year I have room for about 4 or 5 times that number of Capucijners, so I should save about 150 seeds. That's about a third of my harvest.

Since I am very curious to taste these peas, I will find a recipe and make soup with the remaining half a cup of peas. My dad keeps asking me when he will get to try some! If anyone has a good recipe to share, please let me know.

Pisum sativum


Anonymous said...

The trick with capucijners is to be careful not to ruin their nice natural taste with a lot of spices or a lot of complicated ingredients. Also they make a nice rich broth when you cook them, so be careful not to throw this away.

Like all dried legumes, they will need to be soaked overnight or at least all day before cooking them. They need about 30 minutes of cooking, but taste them frequently to be sure.

They are a little starchy just eaten by themselves, and they are normally cooked with fatty meat like pork to cut this starchiness. I think traditionally they are just cooked with pork, and no other spices except salt. I suggest just cooking the peas first, then adding sauted pork (probably a cut similar to bacon). I've never cooked or eaten them this way because I'm vegetarian. This will almost certainly be how your father has eaten, and perhaps expects them.

Here is a Dutch language recipe:

And it says soak peas overnight and cook with salt until they are done. Serve with fried pieces of 'spek' (a cut of pork similar to bacon), fried onion rings (not breaded, just a raw onion cut into rings and fried), raw chopped onion, cocktail onions, pickle slices, piccalilly (a sort of mustardy vegetable pickle mixture) and warm (pancake) syrup. The meal can be expanded with rice and 'hachee' (canned corn beef hash). Serve with brandy, nutmeg and sugar as condiments.

Unable to find a good vegetarian recipe, I made my own (similar to Indian Dal):

1 cup capucijners soaked overnight
1 small onion
1 medium potato cut into bit sized pieces
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp cumin seed
2 Tablespoons Olive or other oil

Drain and rinse capucijners, and put in a sauce pan with only enough water to cover them plus a little extra. Chop and add the onion. Simmer covered over low heat for 15 minutes.

Add the potato and return to a boil.

Cook until both the potato and capucijners are done, about 15 more minutes. Add a little more water during cooking if necessary. Remove from heat.

Gently heat the oil in a small frying pan. Add the cumin seeds and cook for about 30 seconds, while stirring (or shaking the pan) a little. Press and add the garlic and cook while gently stirring (or shaking) until the garlic just begins to brown. Remove from the heat and let cool for about a minute. Add this mixture to the capucijners, being careful not to splatter yourself with the hot oil. Mix.

Let sit covered at least 10 minutes, add salt to taste, and serve. Capucijners are nicest when eaten lukewarm to warm.

I hope all of this helps!!

kathy said...

Thanks Patrick- The recipes sound delicious. I think I'll cook the peas on their own with bacon as you suggest so I can taste them and then decide whether to add potato and garlic as in your recipe. I think I can probably find both potato and garlic to dig in my garden. I'll probably leave out the cumin. I'd like my half cup of peas to serve four people, so potatoes may help increase the volume. This sounds like fun! Thanks for the recipes.

Michaela said...

Hi, Dutch person here. Capucijners are delicious when eaten freshly harvested i.e. not dried. Cook as you would peas and use in salads or soups, or simply as a vegetable. Even better with some mustard!

When dried, they need to be soaked overnight, then boiled for about 30 minutes. I would only add salt after 20 minutes as it may cause the peas to split. The bacon we use (spek) is smoked. Closest equivalent in the UK is lardons. Fry in butter until almost crisp. Fry a diced onion also in butter (the Dutch do not use oil much), add the bacon and cooked capucijner peas. Serve with mustard or mustard sauce.

The common accompanying carbs in a Dutch meal is spuds. Plain old boiled spuds but mash also is common. They don't have roasties (silly people don't know what they're missing).

That's it - no garlic, brandy, sugar or anything else. Plain but beautifully cooked food.

The Dutch nickname for dried capucijners is thunder buttocks. Live to tell the tale :)

Hachee, by the way, is not corn beef hash but a delicious stew of diced braising steak, onions, cloves and bay leaves.

Happy cooking