Sea Island Red Pea and Vegetable Purloo

Southern Kitchen
Sea Island Red Pea Purloo

Serves: 8 to 10

Hands On Time: 1 hour and 0 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 0 minutes


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced

1 yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

2 cups Carolina Gold or other medium-grain rice

3/4 cup dry white wine

8 cups vegetable broth

2 cups cooked Sea Island red or other field peas

2 cups blanched broccoli florets

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the squash and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, still stirring, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add rice continue to stir until the rice is completely coated with the oil in the pan and has turned shiny and translucent, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until it has been completely absorbed by the rice. Add 2 cups of the broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice has absorbed nearly all of the liquid. Continue to add the broth, 2 cups at a time, until all of it has been used. 

Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook until rice is tender but still retains some texture, 10 to 15 minutes. Fold in the peas and broccoli and stir until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and parsley; let the butter completely melt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

About the recipe

A regionalized variation on the word “pilaf” or “pilau,” a purloo is a dish similar to jambalaya and traditionally features shrimp and cured pork. This is a vegetarian-friendly version with field peas, winter squash and broccoli taking the place of any meat or seafood.

To capture the spirit of the Carolina Low Country, try to find ingredients grown in that region, such as Sea Island red peas, which are a dried field pea grown around coastal Georgia. They have a meaty flavor and deep richness, like a common field pea on steroids. Substitute black-eyed peas or other field peas if you cannot find them. Carolina Gold rice is a medium-grain, starchy rice that cooks similar to Italian short-grain rice when stirred frequently. It’s also wonderful substitution in a risotto.