Black-eyed Peas and Collard Greens

Prep: 45 minutes Cook: 1 1/2-2 hours

Serves:6-8

By Tiffany Hobson
This traditional dish is served in New Orleans every year on New Year's Day. The greens represent money, while the swelling of the black-eyed peas symbolizes prosperity. Whether you are celebrating a New Year, needing some extra luck, or just want to eat some really good home style cooked food, I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Ingredients

  • Black-eyed Peas:
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 5 garlic, minced
  • 4 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp powdered thyme
  • 1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2-2 1/4 cups black-eyed peas
  • 6-8 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Rice:
  • 2 cups white Jasmine rice (traditional) or brown Basmati (healthier)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut finely
  • Collard Greens:
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 4 bunches collard greens, stripped from stems and cut into large pieces
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar (or to taste)

Directions

Black-eyed Peas:
First, sort through the black-eyed peas, making sure you have taken out any peas that are discolored or broken. Set aside. Place 1 cup of vegetable broth with the onion, garlic, celery and red bell pepper in a large pot. Cook over medium high heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Once the vegetables become soft, add the bay leaves, thyme, cayenne and several twists of freshly ground black pepper. Mix well. Add black-eyed peas and the rest of the vegetable broth, mixing well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours with the lid slightly ajar. Beans will have a creamy consistency. Serve with rice and collard greens.

Hint: This recipe can be as mild or spicy as you like it. I love spicy food. I will use 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and enough freshly ground black pepper to give any mere mortal carpal tunnel!

Rice:
If you have a rice cooker: place the rice and broth in the rice cooker and turn it on. It will work its own magic and let you know when it is done. Stir the rice immediately. If you do not have a rice cooker, place the rice and broth in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed. Serve the rice with the green onions on top alongside the black-eyed peas and collard greens.

Collard Greens:
In a large non-stick pan, cook the onions covered over low heat, stirring frequently. Onions should cook until they are caramelized (very brown and sticky). Add 2 tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. Mix well. Add the collard greens, 2 more tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 more teaspoon of brown sugar. Mix well. Cook covered for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes. Adjust the flavor of the collard greens if necessary (you do not want them sickly sweet, nor do you want them extremely sour). The flavor should be a perfect balance of a touch of sweetness, with a hint of sour flavor. Serve with black-eyed peas and rice.