Black-eyed peas brought us a fair amount of luck in 2011. These ‘magic’ beans just appeared in our garden this year; and as coincidence would have it, this season we had the most bountiful garden in our gardening history!
While our home-grown supply of black-eyed peas has long since been turned into salads, soups and even hummus, I thought it can’t hurt to start 2012 with a little black-eyed pea luck. Black-eyed peas are a typical Southern dish served on New Year’s Day. When served along with collard greens and ham, each meal component is to bring luck in the new year: The peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity; the greens symbolize money; the pork, because pigs root forward when foraging, represents positive motion forward.
I adapted (and ‘healthified’) this recipe from several I found. And while I plan to serve it to a crowd with greens on January 1st, when I tested it, the smokey spicy beans made a hearty and warming side dish for speedy homemade sub sandwiches. The leftovers would be delicious thrown into a soup pot with leftover greens and ham.Print
Black-Eyed Peas and Bacon
Make these black-eyed peas for good luck in the new year!
- 2 cups dry black-eyed peas
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 slices bacon
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 6 small cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- Rinse beans. In a large saucepan, combine beans and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
- Drain and rinse beans. Return beans to pan and add bay leaves, salt and 6 cups fresh water. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15-25 minutes until tender. Drain; discard bay leaves.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon till crisp. Drain on paper towels, reserving about 1 1/2 tablespoon bacon drippings in skillet. Crumble cooked bacon; set aside.
- Add sweet pepper, onion, garlic, carrot, thyme, oregano, red pepper and black pepper to skillet. Cook and stir til vegetables are tender. Stir in beans and bacon; heat through.
- Makes 12 servings