150g black peas (also known as black badgers or carlin peas)
25g unsalted butter
1 Tbs olive oil
150g diced pancetta
1 trimmed lemongrass stalk
4 Tbs malt vinegar
150g rocket (or watercress, baby spinach, or a combination of leaves)
6 sprigs of mint
60g Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Not many choices here, but a maple vinegar could be a superb alternative.
Soak the peas overnight in plenty of water. Drain and rinse them, then cover in plenty of fresh water and simmer with a lid partially on until fully tender. They will take about an hour, but start to check after 45 minutes – you want them soft but not collapsed. Keep back a cup of the cooking liquid, then drain the peas.
Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan and add the diced pancetta to fry it off. Finely chop the bottom half of the lemongrass stalk and add to the pancetta pan. When the pancetta is nearly crisp, stir through the cooked black peas, malt vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid and lots of salt and pepper. Once the pancetta is properly crisp, turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan, leaving it to sit in its own steam and cool down.
Arrange a bed of the leaves on a serving plate. Spoon over the pancetta and black pea mix. Finish with torn mint leaves and shavings or crumblings of the Parmesan. For a heartier lunch, serve with crusty bread that is toasted and rubbed with olive oil and garlic.
Credits: The Vinegar Cupboard by Angela Clutton is published by Absolute Press ($36.99) Out now!