Fresh Black-Eyed Peas with Buckwheat & Collard Greens

Fresh black-eyed peas with buckwheat & collard greens

 

We are finally all settled in our new apartment – the plumbing issues are all resolved and the kitchen is up and running.  So this week I am happy to be back at the farmers’ markets and behind the stove.  My latest discovery at the farmers’ market was fresh black-eyed peas.  I’d never seen fresh black-eyed peas before and was fascinated to try them, so I filled a bag full of pods.  I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but a friendly gentleman in line ahead of me shared his way of preparing them – simmer in a little water for about 10 minutes and saute with a little bacon, chopped vidalia onion, cayenne, and tomato, and serve over rice.

 

I decided to try his idea, throwing in some collard greens and serving it with buckwheat, since I had just cooked rice the night before.  I had also just made bacon that morning, and luckily I had reserved some of the bacon fat – just enough to flavor the peas.  I cooked the peas in a little stock instead of water to add more flavor.  10 minutes proved to be not enough time to soften the peas, it was more like 15 minutes.  A few ripe tomatoes, a bunch of collard greens and a juicy onion later, I was enjoying a tasty Southern meal.

 

Fresh Black-Eyed Peas With Buckwheat & Collard Greens

 

1 lb. fresh black-eyed pea pods

chicken or vegetable stock to cover

2 T bacon fat (you can substitute olive oil for a vegetarian dish)

1 vidalia onion

2-3 cloves garlic

2-3 ripe tomatoes

1 bunch collard greens

pinch cayenne & sea salt to taste

cooked buckwheat for serving (for instructions on how to cook buckwheat, see my gluten-free grain guide)

 

First you have to shell the peas.  This is easy if you have a helper.  Just sit on the couch with a big bowl and peel back the pods to remove the peas.  Rinse with water and put them in a sauce pan with just enough stock to cover.  Add a pinch of salt and simmer for about 15 minutes, taste-testing for desired softness.  You can cook the peas and the buckwheat at the same time since they have the same cooking time.  (I didn’t cook them together though, since I didn’t measure the amount of cooking liquid and wanted to taste the peas to adjust the cooking time if necessary.) 

 

Chop the onion and garlic and saute in reserved bacon fat until soft and fragrant.  Dice the tomatoes and cut the collard greens into strips; add both to the skillet.  Toss in the cooked black-eyed peas along with a little of the cooking liquid to steam.  Season with cayenne pepper and sea salt to taste.  Saute until the greens are tender, then serve over cooked buckwheat.

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