Recipe: Blasphemous Black-Eyed Peas–Vegan!

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Good Afternoon:

The traditional Southeastern US New Year’s Day meal of Black-Eyed Peas with Ham Hocks–like many other dishes around the world, a “good luck for the new year” food–ranks as one of our Great American Dishes, and inspires fanatical loyalty in its devotees. Hey, I love the dish, too, and I’ve only traveled as far south as Athens, Georgia on a weekend trip.

Naturally, I have to commit blasphemy. Vegan blasphemy.

Blasphemous Black-Eyed Peas, Vegan Version (6 servings)

  • 1 lb. dried Black-Eyed Peas
  • Lots of water
  • 2 dried Bay Leaves
  • 2-4 sprigs of fresh Thyme
  • 1 four-inch length of fresh Rosemary
  • 10 Peppercorns
  • 1 large Onion, 1/2 inch dice
  • 2-6 cloves of Garlic, finely minced
  • 2-3 Carrots, 1/2 inch dice
  • 3-4 ribs of Celery, 1/2 inch dice
  • 3 Parsnips, 1/2 inch dice
  • Red Wine Vinegar to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Hot Sauce to taste (more on this later)
  1. Spread out the black-eyed peas (actually a legume or bean) in a single layer on a baking sheet. Pick through them very carefully; I’ve found pebbles a half-inch long. Wash them thoroughly and put them in a large pot with a lid. Add water to cover by two inches.
  2. Wrap the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary and peppercorns in a sort of “teabag” made from cheesecloth and add to the pot.
  3. Cover tightly and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the onions. Cover loosely, leaving the pot partially uncovered.
  4. Stir occasionally. After 90 minutes, add the garlic, carrots, celery and parsnips, stirring.
  5. Simmer with the pot partially uncovered for another 30 minutes or until the black-eyed peas are very tender.
  6. Remove the “teabag” and discard. Drain everything and put into a bowl.
  7. Add the red wine vinegar and salt to taste and stir thoroughly.
  8. Serve in bowls with the hot sauce on the side so everyone can add as much as they want. Now, about that hot sauce: I realize that Tabasco™ is the obvious and popular choice, but that stuff has never tasted hot to me. I’ve read the ingredients and I know the sauce doesn’t include sugar, but I swear it tastes sweet. I recommend habañero or Sriracha sauces instead. If you have never tried them, they do pack a punch, so add carefully.

Options abound, of course. You can serve the dish over a bed of rice, toss in eight ounces of fresh peas five minutes before the end, maybe add two peeled potatoes (also 1/2 inch dice) with the other vegetables.

Vonn Scott Bair

PS–Why does a meat eater such as yours truly create vegan recipes?!

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One response »

  1. Pingback: A Slightly Wrong Choice of Words at Work: Or, Watch How You Talk About My Black-Eyed Peas « The San Francisco Scene--Seen!

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