It’s only the second week of second semester, but the Houston weather has decided (yet, again) to keep us at home. Luckily, I’d already bought the ingredients for my next Dining In adventure. My premeditated recipe choice was perfect for this absurdly cold and icy Houston night (I know, I know. I’m saying this while the Northeast faced a bomb cyclone and expects winter storm Inga, but any ice/snow in Houston is incredibly notable.) The salad was tangy and rich. Sweet green peas and rich, smooth split peas perfectly punctuated with crisp potatoes and salty bacon. What could be better for Houston’s one snow day?
The recipe itself was (another) testament to Roman’s dedication to crafting recipes that are simple, yet elegant and perfect for treating yourself within the comfort of your own home. I started boiling the water to cook the dried split beans at 5:30 pm, and dinner was on the table by 6:30. Not only that, the meal only used one bowl and two pots/pans that I had to clean. This recipe is comfort cooking at its finest: easy, absolutely delicious, (contains bacon) and requires little effort to clean up. There was something reassuring about this recipe’s simplicity; it was a reminder that cooking for myself (and my family) can be a daily pleasure, one that does not always requires planning way in advance or setting aside entire afternoons (although some recipes that require planning ahead are well worth it!). Being able to start cooking and an hour later (really, only half an hour of active work) present a delicious meal is rewarding in a primal sense: “I know how to feed myself. Simply without excessive amounts of energy or weeks of planning. I’d forgotten that…”
Now that I’ve waxed poetic about the simplicity of this dish, I need to stress its delicious-ness (Not a word, I know, but honestly it sums up my feeling toward this split pea salad perfectly.) The flavors worked together harmoniously (a consonance on par with Prokofiev’s symphonies): the sweet peas melding with the rich (almost meaty) split peas and the salty bacon and the tangy mustard/vinegar and the crunchy potatoes. This split pea salad is a masterpiece, and my favorite recipe from Dining In to date. By far. Keep in mind, this is only my fifth recipe, but it’s now the gold standard. I have found my new comfort food. Move over mac n’ cheese, split pea salad has dethroned you.
On this unexpected day off, I got to spend time in my favorite room in my house (the kitchen, duh) with one of my favorite playlists. And I discovered a new favorite (and instant classic) recipe. Not a bad way to avoid the unusually cold Houston weather.
Cooked: 5 To be Cooked: 90