When I was five, I attended an amazing school in Santa Monica, California. It was the quintessential “hippie” school house on the block, and it was spectacular. Math was taught in the kitchen cooking, using real measurements that meant something. Books were read aloud with inflection and a cadence that honed my storytelling skills. There were chickens and gardens and walking field trips to learn who our neighbors were.
One of the school’s neighbors was a store called the Co-opportunity Natural Foods Store, and this was my first introduction to a food co-op. It was 1976 and to say it looked anything like a “store” would be a stretch. There were barrels of beans and grains and not much more. The woman who gave us the tour was probably the age I am now and I was enthralled with her. She was so excited to talk to us about what a co-op is, the benefits to the community, and her passion for food. Looking back now, I realize how much our own co-op family have the same passion for food, our local community, and the benefits of food co-ops. I haven’t been back in some thirty plus years, but I know that store has grown, much like ours here. So as I reminisce about the past, I wish you a Happy New Years and bring you a barrel full of black eyed peas for luck.
Black Eyed Pea and Kale Salad
- 1 cup black eyed peas
- 1 cup kale, finely chopped
- 1 cup spinach, chopped
- 3/4 cup yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine kale, spinach, black eyed peas, peppers, and green onions in a bowl.
- In a small skillet, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil and saute the shallot until caramelized. Add the red chile flakes and continue to cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and add the remaining oil, cider vinegar, and dijon mustard and whisk or stir to combine.
- Toss the salad with dressing, season with salt and pepper, and serve.