Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the power of farmers markets to drive economic and community health in the region. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
In this recipe for traditional southern boiled peanuts from Southern Living, raw peanuts are boiled in salt water for a salty, creamy, and addictive snack. This recipe is great for green peanuts while they are in season; be sure to refrigerate and use within a few days of purchase. Once you master the technique for simple boiled peanuts, you can get creative with how you flavor them. This recipe suggests adding heat with a Cajun spice blend, curry powder, the “Beer and Old Bay” method, and the “Soy and Spice” method with soy sauce, cinnamon sticks, star anise, coriander, and garlic. No matter how you flavor them, you won't be able to resist popping these peanuts the moment they're cool enough to touch.
- 1 ½ cups kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
- 2 pounds raw peanuts in the shell or 3 pounds green peanuts
Place 2 gallons of water in a 10- to 12-quart stockpot. Add ½ cup of the salt to water; stir until salt dissolves. Add raw peanuts. (Skip this step if you are using green peanuts.) Use a large dinner plate to help submerge the floating peanuts. Soak peanuts for 8 hours or overnight. (This step saves a little time boiling, but if you don't have the luxury of soaking time, you can skip it.)
Drain soaking water; add 2 gallons water and 1 cup salt to peanuts. (Note the level of water on the side of the pot.) Bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until peanuts are as soft as roasted chestnuts or softer, 5 to 8 hours (2 to 3 hours for green peanuts), keeping water in the pot within an inch or so of its original level with regular additions of water. After peanuts have boiled for 3 hours (1 hour for green peanuts), sample them to check their texture and salinity. Remove a peanut, and wait until it is cool enough to handle. Open the shell, and give the peanut a chew, slurping some brine with it. If it crunches, cook it more. If the brine lacks salt, add more by ¼-cup amounts. If it is too salty, remove some of the water, and replace it with the same volume of fresh water. Allow an hour for the salinity to equalize before testing again. Sample peanuts every hour until they are pleasantly yielding and as salty and appetizing as a good pickle.
When peanuts are cooked, remove them from heat, and let them cool in the pot for 1 hour (20 minutes for green peanuts). When cool enough to handle, drain and eat. Store in the shell, in a sealed container, in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days, or in the freezer for several months.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round throughout New Orleans. The CCFM hosts 70+ local small farmers, fishers, and food producers, and more than 150,000 shoppers annually.