Split Peas with Lemon, Ginger and Garlic

This recipe combines several complementary ingredients to peas and not just any complements; these are the heavy affinities.

Ingredients:

  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. finely minced garlic (about 3-4 cloves garlic; do not use minced garlic from a jar for this recipe)
  • 2 cups yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed if needed
  • 4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 T minced fresh ginger root (do not use minced ginger from a jar for this recipe)
  • 1 T lemon zest (grated lemon peel)
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice ( Start with two lemons get this much zest and juice )
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • chopped cilantro to sprinkle on at serving time (optional)
  • additional lemon wedges to squeeze on at serving time (optional)

Directions:

  1. Put yellow split peas in a bowl and pick over, removing any hulls or stones you find. 
  2. Finely mince 3-4 garlic cloves to make 2 tsp. minced garlic.  Heat olive oil in a small heavy dutch oven, add garlic and saute 1 minute or just until garlic becomes fragrant.  Add yellow split peas and stir several times so all the split peas get coated with oil.
  3. Add chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a low simmer, then cover simmer until split peas are soft but not mushy and liquid is mostly absorbed, about 30-45 minutes.  (The recipe said 20-30 minutes, but mine took 45 minutes to become soft.  Cooking time is determined by how old the split peas are.)
  4. While split peas are cooking, zest the lemons, then squeeze the juice.  Finely mince fresh ginger root to make 1 T minced ginger.
  5. When split peas are soft and most of the liquid is absorbed, season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and stir in the lemon zest, minced ginger, and lemon juice.  Put the lid back on and let the split peas rest 10-15 minutes to develop flavors.  (Don’t worry if there is still some liquid; most of it will absorb during the resting time.)
  6. While split peas are resting chop cilantro and cut lemon wedges (if using.)
  7. Serve warm, with chopped cilantro and lemon wedges to guests to use at the table if desired.