Black-Eyed Peas and Collards
1 cup dried black-eyed peas
1 tbsp butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 strips bacon, cut into small pieces
1 bay leaf
1 large bunch collards
salt and pepper
Soak the black-eyed peas overnight in 4 cups of water.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, bacon, and bay leaf. Cover the pan with a lid and leave it for 2 minutes. Stir occasionally and cook until the onions are translucent and the bacon is starting to be crispy. Drain the peas and pour them into the saucepan. Cover them with water and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
The cooking time will depend on how old the peas are, which is difficult to predict. The peas are done when you can easily squish them on the countertop with the back of a spoon. Check on them every half hour or so, and if water boils off, add more to cover them.
While the peas cook, line up several collards leaves on your cutting board and slice the tough central stem away from the leaves. Discard the stems.
Thoroughly wash the collards, then chop them into bite-sized pieces.
Alternatively, use your hands to tear the collards into small pieces.
Once the peas are cooked, add the collards to the pot and put the lid back on.
Add 1 teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground pepper, then stir. Taste the liquid and peas and add more salt as needed. Cover the pan with a lid and leave for about 10 to 15 minutes. Once the collards are tender, turn off the heat.
Serve this over rice or any other grain, or with some toast or flatbread.
This is similar to the southern classic Hoppin’ John. If you have them, you can add more vegetables to the base along with the onion—celery, carrot, bell pepper, and some canned tomato would all be great in this. If you want to skip the bacon, just add smoked paprika to replace the smoky flavor.
Recipe reprinted from Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day, courtesy Leanne Brown.