As I mentioned in yesterday's post, May 1st is Beltaine, a Gaelic holiday celebrating the fertility of the Earth and the abundance of Spring. Walpurgis Night is sort of like Beltaine's Christmas Eve. It's the traditional celebration awaiting the arrival of Beltaine....so I made a special meal to celebrate. Spring is my favorite season!
For the main entree, I created a new recipe for my cookbook - Black-Eyed Pea Corn Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Creme.
Basically, it's a fritter made with purple hull peas (pretty much the same as black-eyed peas...it's what I had in the freezer) and corn. The creme topping is a combination of silk tofu and roasted red peppers. The mixture of cool cream and hot fried fritter was like a party in mouth.
On the side, I found some AMAZINGLY HUGE purple asparagus. Check this stuff out!
I've never seen purple asparagus, not have I ever seen asparagus this girthy. Even though it was a little more pricey than the regular old asparagus, I couldn't resist. I ended up boiling it instead of steaming like I usually do ... that's because the spears were too large for my mini-bamboo steamer. Unfortunately, like many purple foods, these guys lost some of their nice color while cooking. But they still tasted delish!
After boiling, I tossed it with some sesame oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper to make the "Sesame Asparagus" from Vegan with a Vegeance. The recipe also calls for sesame seeds, but I was out. The sesame oil gave the asparagus plenty of flavor though.
I washed it all down with homemade Agave Mead. My friend Leslie and I had a mead-making session in my kitchen back in February. Traditionally, mead consists of honey, water, and yeast. But since we don't eat honey, we substituted agave nectar. I also steeped my mead with herbs - jasmine, meadowsweet, and woodruff. It had to ferment for three months in a dark, dry place (my closet). Tonight, it was finally ready to crack open. I only had a small wine glass full, and man, this stuff is strong. It tastes like a cross between wine, beer, and rum. Good stuff.