I’ve always been a little envious of people from the South because they have such strong traditions in food and football (among other things, obviously, but those stand out). It’s not that I don’t love the way I grew up eating in the Pacific Northwest, it just seems less endearing to talk about Dungeness crab than Grandma’s famous fried chicken.
My mom had a Southern cookbook on the shelf in our kitchen for awhile but she never cooked from it (some excuse about not wanting clogged arteries). So because Southern cooking is something I know far too little about, this recipe for collard greens and black eyed peas was an exciting find. As an added bonus, it’s really healthy.
Although I may never live in the South — I had more than enough hot, humid weather during our stint in Southeast Asia — maybe some day my kids will reminisce about my awesome spicy black eyed peas.
This actually may not be as Southern as I’d like to think because chipotles play a key role in the flavor, but they definitely make the dish great. Plus I think the holy trinity of onions, green bell pepper, and celery make up any points I lost with the chiles. It’s great as a soup or served with a slotted spoon over some steamed brown rice.
(adapted from Fat Free Vegan)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
6 cups water
1 pound collard greens, tough stems removed and greens chopped
1 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Tapatio)
2 tbsp chopped canned chipotle chiles en adobo
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 -2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Heat a ductch oven over medium high and add the olive oil. Add the onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add the celery, green pepper, and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.
Add the black-eyed peas, 6 cups of water, thyme, and oregano.
Simmer until the black eyed peas are tender, about 45 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes. Adjust salt and spices to taste. Serve with a slotted spoon over brown rice.