creamy, white, oval-shaped beans
Nutritional Information: Black-eyed peas are an excellent source of calcium, folate and vitamin A. They tone the spleen-pancreas and stomach meridian.
Storage Information: see general bean info
Food Fun Facts: The black-eyed pea, also called black-eyed bean, is a subspecies of the cowpea. Native to Africa, the black-eyed pea has traveled the world, reaching the Southern United States as early as the 1600s in Virginia. Throughout the South, the black-eyed pea is still a widely used ingredient. Eating black-eyed peas in a dish called Hoppin’ John on New Year's Day is thought to bring good luck. The peas are typically cooked with a pork product for flavoring, onion, and served with a spicy sauce. This traditional meal also features collard, turnip or mustard greens and ham. The peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity. Cornbread often accompanies this meal.
Black-eyed peas can be added to a number of cold vegetable salads. Rice and peas is also a popular dish in Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands.
See general bean info for best cooking suggestions. If skins come off during soaking or cooking it's best to remove them for better digestion. However, pre-soaked black-eyed peas can cook in about ½ hour. Black-eyed peas are cooked when they retain their shape but can be mashed easily.
In the warmer months, toss cooked and cooled black-eyed peas with yogurt vinaigrette, tomatoes and fresh parsley.
2 cups dried black-eyed peas
Soak black-eyed peas in water for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add onion, garlic and celery. Cook 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent. Add drained peas, broth, salt, pepper and cayenne. Simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes or until peas are tender. For a thicker consistency, smash some of the cooked peas against the side of the pan and blend them into the broth. Add greens and carrots. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until collard greens are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings. Enjoy on New Year's Day, or any day, for a satisfying, warming meal. Serve with thick slices of toasted crusty bread. When reheating the soup, add additional broth if needed to obtain desired consistency.
Black-eyed peas and Brown Rice:
Peas and rice together produce a dish with complete protein
Cook 1 cup sorted, rinsed, soaked and drained peas in 3 cups of the water for 45 mins. or until tender. Drain, saving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid. Set aside. Combine 1 cup rice and 2 cups of water. Bring rice to a boil, reduce to low, cover and simmer for 35 –40 mins. Heat 1 ½ tbsp oil. Add chopped onions, garlic, 1 tbsp of both grated ginger and hot pepper and sauté on medium heat for 5 mins. Reduce heat, add peas, salt (to taste), 1 tsp molasses and the reserved cooking liquid if needed. Cook mixture for 20 mins. Serve with rice.