Black-Eyed Peas With Collard Greens

This would be the perfect dish to serve on New Year’s day here in Charleston, I’m not crazy about black eyed peas and would have never made these, but for some odd reason had a bag of them in my pantry (I honestly don’t know how they got there). I thought I would give it a go convinced by Martha Rose Shulman’s description that this was a typically Greek dish. It has to be good if it is Mediterranean, me and my food biases. I did make a slight adjustment to this recipe, the original using dill, I decided to use mint instead which was delicious. Both herbs would spring up the collards with a fresh zest, not to mention that wonderful squeeze of lemon to tie it all together, so different from the traditional Southern way of making collards. I love Southern ham hocked collards, but I am really loving these lighter takes on the green, celebrating their veggieness instead of killing it with fatty parts of the pig and hours of cooking.

Black-Eyed Peas With Collard Greens adapted from The New York Times

  • 1/2 pound black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 large bunch collard greens (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), stemmed, washed well and chopped or cut in ribbons
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste dissolved in 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • For topping (optional): crumbled feta or fresh lemon juice

Place the black-eyed peas in a large saucepan, cover with water by two inches, bring to a boil and then drain. Combine with half the onion and one of the garlic cloves in the saucepan. Add water to cover by two inches, and bring back to a simmer. Add the bay leaf, and reduce the heat. Add salt to taste, cover and simmer 30 minutes, until the beans are just tender. Drain through a strainer set over a bowl.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large, ovenproof lidded skillet or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat and add the remaining onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes, and add the remaining garlic. Stir together for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant. A handful at a time, stir in the greens. As the greens wilt, stir in another handful, until all the greens have been added and have collapsed in the pan. Add the dissolved tomato paste and stir together. Add salt to taste. Add the beans and enough cooking liquid to barely cover everything, cover and place in the oven for 30 minutes, until the collards are tender and the beans very soft.

Uncover the pot, and add a bit of liquid if the beans are dry. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the mint , cover and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve warm or hot. If you wish, top with crumbled feta or a squeeze of lemon.

Yield: Serves six.

One Year Ago: Gemelli with Tuna alla Siciliana

~ by italicious on May 3, 2010.

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