Monday, April 7

Bahamian Peas & Rice

My version of a Bahamian staple made with white rice and fresh peas

Bahamian Peas and Rice

We ate a lot of great food in the Bahamas last month (see full recap here), but peas and rice was probably the most common item on the menu. It's a staple in Bahamian cooking and consists of rice and peas - often black-eyed peas - cooked with vegetables and spices. This is my version of the dish, although it's not entirely authentic. Bacon, onion, bell pepper, and tomato paste form the base for long grain white rice and fresh green peas. Fresh peas aren't usually used in peas and rice, but they're in season now and add a wonderful freshness to the recipe. It makes a filling side dish alongside chicken or fish and leftovers are even more flavorful the next day. It's a great way to add a little island flair to your next family meal or dinner party.

Related Recipes:
- Coconut Rice
- Broccoli Fried Brown Rice
- Risotto Carbonara with Peas

Bahamian Peas & Rice:
  • Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
  • Add in 3 strips of diced thick-cut bacon and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until crisp and most of the fat has rendered.
  • Add in 1 diced onion, 1 diced green bell pepper, and 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent.
  • Add 2 heaping tbsp. tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the paste turns a rusty brown color.
  • Add in 2 c. long grain white rice, 3 c. of water, and a generous pinch of salt.
  • Bring to a boil, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pot, then lower to a low simmer and cover with a lid.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until mostly cooked, then add in 1 c. of fresh peas.*
  • Cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  • Fluff with a fork, adjust seasoning as needed, and keep warm until serving.

Serves six-eight (side dish)
*Or frozen.