In Season: the Breslin's Boiled Peanuts

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Photo: Victor Prado; Illustrations by John Burgoyne.

Yes, peanuts, a.k.a. goobers or goober peas, in their raw or “green” state, have arrived at Greenmarket. And no, the folks who run things over there have not tossed out their definition of what constitutes local produce. These legumes, you see, are grown not in Georgia or Virginia but at Lani’s Farm in New Jersey. If you’re not from the South, you may be wondering just what it is you do with a bunch of raw peanuts. That’s easy. You boil them as if they were some stubborn new strain of pasta. When they’re completely soft and waterlogged and look like hell but taste delicious, they’re ready for snacking southern style. For something only a Northerner would do, boil and then fry the peanuts in rendered pork fat the way Peter Cho does at the Breslin.

Boiled Peanuts

1 pound fresh raw “green” peanuts
3 quarts water
1/3 cup kosher salt
1 cup rendered pork fat (optional)
Sea salt for finishing (optional)

(1) Rinse the peanuts under cold water. (2) Add the nuts, the 3 quarts of water, and the salt to a large pot, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a low boil, cover the pot, and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the peanuts (both shells and meat) are soft and tender. Remove them from the water, and eat as soon as they’re cool enough to handle. Or, optionally, lightly crack the shells of the boiled peanuts and fry them in the rendered pork fat until they’re golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove peanuts from pan, drain on paper towels, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve. Serves 4.

*This article originally appeared in the November 5, 2012 issue of New York Magazine.