New Years Day Black-eyed peas and Greens

Filed under Black Eyed Peas, Heirloom Beans, Large Family Box, Parties, Pork, Smoked & Salted, Smoked Ham Hock

This improvisation on a lazy rainy afternoon has become our favorite way of eating the ritual good-luck black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. Like many recipes for legumes, you should see this one as a signpost not a blue print, and add your own touches. You can leave out the spices (except for the garlic and ginger) or reduce the quantities.

INGREDIENTS

  •  1 lb Llano Seco Black Eyed Peas
  • Salt to taste
  • Bunch of green-leafed chard or kale
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 inch section ginger root
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala


DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook 1 lb. of Llano Seco black-eyed peas following our basic cooking instructions, adding salt in the last stages of cooking. Leave the black-eyed peas in their cooking liquid.
  2. Strip the ribs from a bunch of green-leafed chard or kale. Stack the leaves, roll them and cut into strips about ¼” wide. Blanch them in plenty of boiling water. Drain and set aside.
  3. In 3 tbsp. olive oil, sauté 1 large onion, finely chopped until translucent. Add 2-3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped, and ½” section of fresh ginger root peeled and finely chopped, and stir for a minute or so over moderate heat. Follow with ¼-½ tsp. of cayenne and 1 tsp. Garam Masala (see note) and stir for another two minutes, adding small amounts of water if things start to stick.
  4. Add the onion and spice mixture to the black-eyed peas. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Then add the greens and more water if necessary.
  5. Taste for salt again, bring to a boil once more, lower heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender. (This is not the place for al dente greens).
  6. Serve with sausages, crusty bread and salad. Happy New Year!

Note: Garam masala is easy to find in any Indian grocery or on the internet, but you never know how long it’s been sitting on a shelf. It’s very easy to make if you have a coffee grinder you keep for spices, and amply repays the minimal effort entailed. A very easy one adapted from Madhur Jaffrey: pulverize 1 tbsp. cardamom seeds (out of their papery husks), 1 tsp cloves, 1 tsp. black peppercorns, 1 2-inch piece of cinnamon, 1 tsp. cumin seeds, ¼ nutmeg. What you don’t use should be stored tightly covered and out of the light.