Black-eyed peas: so affordable--even if organic--so rooted in Southern cuisine and so iconic in African-American culture. As much as I adore this legume (and would not miss eating it on New Year's Day to guarantee good luck for another year), I didn't cook black-eyed peas much in 2011. Though my family and I are pescetarians, the bulk of our diet is bean and grain based. Meals can get humdrum. In 2012, I've resolved to make our bean-and-grain meals more elegant and sexy.
2 cups dried black-eyed peas
4 cups water
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves crushed garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper, ground
2-inch piece fresh turmeric, grated
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 rainbow carrots, shredded--1 red, 1 golden--for garnish
- Spread dried peas on a cookie sheet or place in a large bowl. Sort and pick through peas to remove broken peas and small stones (if you see any).
- Place peas in 3-quart cooking pot and rinse peas several times under running water; drain and repeat. Fill pot (containing peas) with 4 cups of water and set aside.
- Saute onion in 8- to 10-inch skillet, over medium heat, until translucent.
- Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add spices to the cooked onion and garlic; spoon mixture into pot containing peas and water.
- Bring uncovered pot of peas to a boil over medium heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until tender. Check peas every 15 minutes and stir the pot to prevent the peas from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Add vegetable broth when half the liquid in the pot has evaporated.
- Add salt at the end of cooking. Add 1/4 less teaspoon of salt if you do not use low-sodium vegetable broth.
- Garnish with grated carrots (see "Assembling the Dish" below).
Turmeric, Freshly Grated
1/4 chopped onion
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3/4 pound collard greens, rolled and sliced
- Saute onion in olive oil until translucent; add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add red pepper flakes and vegetable broth.
- Cook greens on medium-low heat until tender.
- Add soy sauce.
- Allow to cool down for 10 minutes; place greens in food processor and pulse in short bursts until greens are minced (see photo below).
Collards Minced in Food Processor
Polenta with Minced Collards
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups water
3/4 cup quick-cooking polenta
2 heaping tablespoons mascarpone
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- Add salt to water and bring to a boil.
- Add polenta gradually while stirring to avoid clumps. Polenta will become thick quickly; avoid allowing it to clump by continuing to stir.
- Stir in mascarpone and white pepper and stir until polenta consistency becomes creamy.
- Add minced collards and stir until collards are distributed throughout the polenta mixture.
- Spray an 8x8x2-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour in polenta mixture and let sit for 15-20 minutes until firm (it's OK to put polenta into the refrigerator for 10 minutes if you're pressed for time).
Minced Greens Stirred into Polenta
Assembling the Dish:
Slice polenta to yield nine servings. Spoon peas over each serving of polenta with minced greens. Garnish with shredded rainbow carrots and serve. Serves nine.