When my grandparents talked about the old country they were talking about Italy. My mother’s family is from Bari and Calabria and my father’s family is from Sicily. So, I describe my Italian heritage as heal, toe and football if you look at the map.
My Sicilian grandmother used to do a St. Joseph’s Table every year and I have many fond memories of not only the food but the stories of holidays past. You can read more about our tradition at here.
The following recipe is actually my favorite, using a dressing of vinegar and sugar for a sweet and savory pea salad. Anyone who knows me knows I rarely use canned anything. In this case, it is the perfect and easy way to make this St. Joseph favorite.
Great Gramma’s Bitter Sweet Peas
(I cut this in half and it still is hard to fit into my large cast iron skillet)
6 Large Cans Peas (drained)
1 Large Bunch Celery (diced)
1 Pound Italian Green Olives (pitted and chopped)
1 Large Can Artichokes (cut up)
1 Tablespoon Salt
Dice and cook celery until slightly softened. Drain and cool. Saute onions, add celery, and olives. Take off stove (recipe says to take off the fire but I decided to change that) and add peas and artichokes. Mix lightly with fingers.
¾ Cup White Vinegar
½ Cup Sugar
Warm the vinegar gently in a sauce pan to melt sugar. Remove from heat and add to pea mixture. Toss lightly and refrigerate.
I just made half the recipe and it barely fit into my large cast iron skillet.