Where I’m from, New Year’s Day means black-eyed peas. Eating them on New Year’s brings good financial luck for the coming year, so it’s definitely not something I like to skip. Thankfully, I love black-eyed peas, and I have been able to adapt the recipes from my childhood (made with ham and/or chicken broth) to be just as delicious vegetarian.
Today we were up at 5 am to catch a flight back home from Texas, where we were visiting family. However, that was no excuse. As soon as we got home, I had to get the peas into a quick soak so they could be ready for lunch. It was totally worth it, too — they were delicious.
Plus, I’d hate to risk the bad luck.
Every year at this time, I wonder why I don’t make black-eyed peas more often. This year, I just might have to!
Happy New Year, and may you all have good luck, financial and otherwise, in 2012.
3 cups fresh black-eyed peas, or 1 1/2 cups dried, soaked* and drained
3 cups vegetable broth
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Bring all ingredients except the salt and vinegar to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until peas are almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Stir in salt and simmer, covered, for an additional 20 minutes, or until peas are tender. Add vinegar and season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
* I recently read that you don’t technically need to soak dried peas, including black-eyed peas, but I still do. If you’re pressed for time, you can do a quick soak by covering the peas with 4 times their volume of water and bringing to a boil, then turning off the heat and letting them stand, covered, for a hour.