Belonging to the legume family, black-eyed peas or beans are very nourishing. They get their name from the prominent black dot on their creamy skin coat. Packed with nutrients, they are available in dried, frozen, and canned form at the market.
When included in a well-balanced diet, black-eyed peas or beans offer many health benefits. Black-eyed peas are rich in vitamins A and B complex, contains easily digestible fiber, and are a good source of protein. So trying to incorporate them as much as you can into your diet is definitely a good idea.
Most people add black-eyed peas to their salad. In the Southern states, Hoppin’ John is a popular dish made with black-eyed peas and steamed rice, chopped onion, and sliced bacon. We have, however, another healthier and tastier way to eat them.
Try this black-eyed peas recipe with ham hock and collards. The collards with the black-eyed peas makes it healthy, while the added meat makes it less dull, as opposed to eating them in salads.
Black-Eyed Peas with Ham Hock and Collards
- 2 pounds black-eyed peas, soaked overnight if possible
- 2 pounds smoked ham hock, meaty ham bone or slab bacon
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 large onion, peeled and stuck with 2 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 pounds collard greens, cut in 1-inch ribbons (about 8 cups)
- 1 bunch scallions, cleaned and chopped, for garnish
Preparation: (Time 2 hours)
Wash and drain the beans, and put them in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add ham hock or bone with 10 cups of water and bring to boil. Add salt, onion stuck with cloves, bay leaf, black pepper, and allspice.
Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours to two hours until the beans become soft and tender. Keep a check on the water level. While cooking, the water level should be about one inch above the surface of the pot contents, and keep stirring.
Taste the broth for salt and adjust seasoning if required. The consistency should be fairly liquid. Separate the ham hock from the broth and cut it into pieces.
Next put a large wide skillet over medium-high heat and add vegetable oil. Heat the oil well, and add garlic and red pepper. Sizzle them without browning. Add collard greens and stir to coat. Season it with salt and add one cup of water.
Stir well until the greens wilt, then add the chopped ham and reduce the heat to medium. Cover the lid slightly ajar and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the greens become soft.
Check the seasoning. If it’s perfect, then serve the greens and the meat in a soup bowl and ladle it with the hot black-eyed peas. Garish with scallions.
Tanis, D., “Black-Eyed Peas With Ham Hock and Collards,” The New York Times Cooking web site, http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017090-black-eyed-peas-with-ham-hock-and-collards, last accessed January 11, 2017