I have to admit, I’m a little nervous posting this recipe. Not because it doesn’t taste wonderful and is a nice alternative to peas cooked with ham or sausage but because I’m a Northern girl and I’m no expert on these little peas.
The first time I ever saw black-eyed peas was when I moved to Augusta, GA to do my internship. I landed in a place where the food seemed so foreign to me; hush puppies, okra, crowder peas, black-eyed peas…never heard of them before. As I navigated my way around traditional southern food I found a true love for both crowder and black-eyed peas. My heart would do a little dance of joy every time I saw it on the dinner table when invited to share a meal with my new Southern friends.
Fast forward, I can now find black-eyed peas (still not Crowder yet) in my local supermarket but I don’t always have ham or bacon lying around to provide that special flavor. This particular time I opted to just cook them up with what I had on hand. Still. love. them. I realized it doesn’t matter how I cook these little guys, I just enjoy their authentic flavor more than it’s side counterparts. They make such a great side dish for minimal work.
What I love about this version is it’s simple. I don’t want to tell you about “simple” recipes on this site if they require tons of prep work. I have 6 year old triplets so simple needs to mean simple. I basically removed a step of chopping the herbs and opted to make an aromatic broth using whole herbs to cook the peas. It’s easy enough to spoon out the twigs and large leaves at the end. Crushing the garlic and measuring stock is the only prep work you have. If you’d prefer to chop the herbs, by all means chop away!
Black-eyed peas are actually a bean and like other beans they’re high in folate, calcium, magnesium and contain around 10 grams of fiber per serving. If eaten on January 1st they’re thought to bring prosperity for the New Year. Maybe the first week of January will do the trick.
- 1½ cups of black eyed peas, soaked overnight, rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable stock (can use chicken)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 sprigs of fresh Rosemary
- 4 to 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients into a large stock pot and simmer, partially covered for about 40 minutes, or until the peas are to desired tenderness.
- Remove herb twigs and large leaves with a slotted spoon (some leaves from the fresh herbs will have fallen off, that's ok).
- Salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Meri Raffetto is the founder of Real Living Nutrition, triplet mom and author of the Glycemic Index Diet for Dummies and coauthor of the Glycemic Index Cookbook for Dummies, and Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies.