Next on my hitlist of grocers to try was Canino’s. It is billed as a farmer’s market but I am not sure how much of the produce is local and sold by farmers. However, it doesn’t mislead you that fruits and veggies are at the forefront of this store. There are 2 components: the front portion and the back alley peppered with stalls selling mostly Mexican produce. The back alley is more akin to a farmer’s market and where the better deals lie. Come early and you can snag super specials. Like 4 bunches of kale for $1, 5 bunches of collards for $1, 30 limes for $1, 4 broccoli crowns for $1, 4 heads of cabbage for $1. BOOYAH! I liked how you could even mix and match the 4 for a $1 items so you weren’t swimming in produce. But if you know me well enough, you will know that yes, I bought 4 bunches of kale and 5 bunches of collards without a clue as to what I’d make.. in addition to the broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes and fresh black eyed peas.
Fresh black eyed peas were new to me. I’ve tried dried black eyed peas before but trust me, there is a reason they call them black eyed peas. And no, I am not talking about their cute black mark. I am talking about the pea business. THEY TASTE LIKE PEAS! I never captured that flavour from dried or canned varieties. Not entirely sure whether this was a seasonal fresh bean, I snagged a bunch and ultimately decided to try this Goan black eyed pea curry. The tomato-coconut milk infused broth was tantalizing, spiced with ginger, coriander, cumin and tamarind with a bit of sweetness from maple syrup (use jaggery for a more authentic flavour). Exotic yet light, I served it with brown rice. Since fresh black eyed peas were new to me, I pre-cooked them beforehand (~30 minutes) but I think this recipe would lend well to cooking the fresh black eyed peas in the broth (adding the tomato to the end since it is acidic).
I have earmarked the fresh purple hull beans for my next visit. Rob doesn’t mind going to Canino’s because it is right next to a delicious Mexican bakery: El Bollilo. I get my fresh beans and he gets some fresh churros!
PS. I also love that Canino’s opens at 6am nearly every single day (the back stalls apparently have their own random schedule). It is great for us early birds! :)
Not only for New Year’s Day, other black eyed peas recipe here:
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 (1-inch [2.5-cm]) piece ginger root, peeled and grated or minced (mine was more like 1/4 cup, chopped)
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 large tomato, diced (2 cups)
1/2 tsp Aleppo chile flakes, or to taste
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 heaping tsp maple syrup, or sweetener or choice, or to taste
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
2 cups water
4 cups cooked black-eyed peas (I used precooked fresh black eyed peas but canned or cooked from dry could work, too)
1 cup coconut milk, regular or light
Juice of 1/2 lemon (2 tbsp)
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes, until slightly browned. Stir in the ginger and garlic, cooking for another minute.
2. Stir in the tomato, chiles, coriander, cumin, turmeric, tamarind, maple syrup, salt, and water. Raise heat to bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
3. Add the black eyed peas and coconut milk and heat through.
4. Prior to serving, stir in the lemon juice and garnish with cilantro. Serve with brown rice, or your favourite Indian bread (roti or naan).