Not sure about you, but it already seems as if the New Year was ages ago. Last week I featured Collards with Bacon served up as part of my lucky New Year foods. Another among lucky foods prepared on this hopeful holiday always includes some version of black eyed peas. With the neighbors behind me having just returned from the holiday’s in Florida, I decided to prepare Black Eyed Pea Salad with the plan of sharing half the batch as a sort of welcome home while sending good luck their way.
Initially, I planned on using bacon in the salad, in fact, I set aside four crispy, cooked strips. As it turned out, good luck was already heading my way when the four cooked strips, not mentioning any names here, got snatched up in my kitchen, ultimately making things rather copacetic in the preparation after later realizing that two of the three high school- age daughters in the house behind me have become vegetarian or vegan over the year. Lucky me.
Turns out, the girls loved the Black Eyed Pea Salad hastening me to share the recipe on the blog in what has become a rather hectic week. Isn’t January supposed to be one of those relaxing months? Whether your month is hectic or enabling you to relax and unwind, hope you enjoy the unintentionally lucky vegetarian, vegan pick of the day. Of course, if you prefer you can always add in some crispy, cooked strips of bacon, but chop them finely before anyone coming through your kitchen snatches them up.
- one pound dried black eyed peas
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 red onion, peeled, cut in half
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 small or 1 large carrot, peeled
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 small red onion, peeled
- 1 clove garlic, fine chopped
- 12 large kale leaves, removed from center stems
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, more or less
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- rind from one tangelo or orange
- juice from 1-2 very juicy tangelos or oranges
- few pinches or more coarse kosher salt
- few grinds fresh cracked black pepper
- 4 slices crisp cooked bacon, chopped (optional)
- Rinse black eyed peas, sift through for any pebbles or debris. Soak overnight in a pot of water covering beans by a few inches. Next morning, drain, rinse, and refill pot with cool water covering black eyed peas by a few inches, drop one cinnamon stick into pot along with red onion halves stuck with whole cloves. Turn burner to high and bring black eyed peas to boiling, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until just done, depending on the heat power of your range, anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour, until black eyed peas are fully cooked through and tender. Drain cooked beans, remove cinnamon stick and onion with cloves, discard. Transfer beans to a large bowl or serving dish, let cool to room temperature. While black eyed peas are cooking, coarse chop carrots and celery to approximate even sized pieces and place into the bowl of a food processor pulse until mixture is reduced to a fine dice (not mushy,) use a spatula to transfer to a large sized bowl. Cut onion into even sized pieces then place into the food processor, pulse until onions are reduced to a fine dice (not mushy,) use a spatula to transfer to the bowl with the diced carrots and celery. Stir in the garlic. Tear kale leaves from the center ribs, cook in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, drain. Once cooled, use paper toweling or a kitchen towel to squeeze liquid from kale, chop fine, stir into the vegetable mixture. Season cooled black eyed peas with a couple good pinches salt, stir through, tumble in vegetable mixture and the orange rind, stir gently to combine throughout. Pour in vinegar, olive oil, and orange juice, stir. Sprinkle in another pinch of salt and the pepper, stir, check seasoning, adjust to taste additionally adding in a bit more orange juice if desired. Fold through chopped bacon, if using.