Riz au fève (pronounced ree-oh-fev) is a dish of rice and field peas that is similar to a jambalaya. Riz au fève translates from French to English as rice with broad beans, which are rarely grown down South. For the longest time, I've wondered how this name became attached to a dish that is completely devoid of broad beans. I'm still searching for that answer, so I'll just give you the history of riz au fève as I know it...
Ever since I was a kid, my dad and both my grandpères grew field peas in their gardens. I spent many a childhood summer afternoon sitting on a rocking chair beside Mamère shelling all those peas. For as long as I can remember, Mom and Mamère cooked field peas two ways -- by the pot full, served over rice, or in a riz au fève.
Mom and Mamère didn't usually add meat to their riz au fèves. However, I started mine with a package of field peas and tasso that I'd had in the freezer. Because it's freezer cleanup time at our house, I even added some pulled pork I'd found hanging out near the field peas.
The only other thing I know about riz au fève is that it's as pure, simple, and about as comforting as food gets.
Riz au Fève
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
3/4 c celery, minced
3/4 c orange or yellow bell pepper, minced
3/4 c onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c field peas, cooked
1/2 lb of diced, cooked meat (smoked sausage, pork, etc.), optional
2 c extra long grain rice, cooked and refrigerated
2 Tbsp chopped chives
1/2 c - 1 c chicken broth or hot water
- Heat oil in a pot or dutch oven or medium-high heat.
- Saute' celery, bell pepper, onion, garlic and thyme in olive oil until softened and aromatic.
- Season the veggies with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir.
- Add the field peas, stirring well. Lower heat to medium.
- Add the rice, stirring gently to break up any lumps and distribute evenly.
- Add some Creole seasoning, the chives, and some hot sauce. Stir gently to mix.
- If using meat, add it to the pot and stir again.
- Pour in 1/2 c chicken broth to moisten and pull the dish together. If rice seems dry, add more broth.
- Let the mixture heat through.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve with a green salad.
Southern Field Peas