Blanched ambelofasoula (green black-eyed peas) are the most sought-after and expensive summer salad in Greece and usually accompanies grilled or fried fish. The word ‘ambelofasoula’ means ‘vineyard beans’ and it is only used for the green black-eyed peas; maybe the prolific plants were planted close to the vines in the old days. The dressing is inspired by a recipe I got from the island of Kythera, where it was used on vlita(blanched amaranth shoots). It is a wonderful dressing for blanched broccoli, cauliflower or any kind of blanched greens.
1 pound tender green black-eyed peas, or green beans, trimmed
1 garlic clove
1 small vine-ripened tomato, cored and quartered
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring a pot of water with a good pinch of salt to a boil add green black-eyed peas or green beans and boil for 3-5 minutes, or until just tender. Be careful not to over-boil, as green black-eyed peas get stringy and mushy. Drain and pass the sieve under running water for a minute.
In the bowl of a blender add the garlic, tomato, lemon, vinegar, mustard and olive oil and pulse to get a thick sauce. Add salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasoning.
Transfer the green black-eyed peas (or beans) to a platter, pour the sauce over and toss well. Serve immediately.