What I’m Eating: Simmered Black-eyed Peas with Tomatoes

The original recipe is here.

My mother makes a delicious and simple dish of black-eyed peas and rice, and I was craving last week, but it doesn’t have much in the way of vegetables, it’s more or less 100% beans and rice, and I’ve been trying to focus on one-dish meals that are easy to carry with me to class. (I’m considering getting a bento box to make side dishes more convenient). So I looked for a black-eyed pea recipe with some vegetables in it, and found this one, which worked out pretty well.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
2 (16-ounce) bags frozen black-eyed peas

Preparation

Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté about 4 minutes or until tender. Add tomato and next 3 ingredients; cook, stirring often, about 2 minutes or until tomato starts to soften.

Stir in black-eyed peas and 3 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer about 1 hour or until peas are tender. Season with more kosher salt and pepper, if desired. Serve hot or warm.

Notes

I had dried peas, not frozen, and I had no idea what the conversion would be, but I knew that a full 16-oz bag would be way more food than I needed, so I soaked 8 oz overnight and hoped for the best. I think maybe that was less than the recipe calls for, because I had quite a bit of liquid left after cooking, though I did reduce it by about a cup.

Probably I should have gone with the amount of water recommended on the bag, plus a little. At any rate, even watery it turned out delicious and reheated well. I ate it with rice for the complete protein, and the liquid flavored the rice and made it nice and tender in the microwave.

I didn’t have dried thyme all by itself, it’s not my favorite herb, so I added an Italian seasoning blend, my go-to for “this needs some herbs but I don’t know what.” To my unsophisticated palate it worked out just fine.

Finally, I cooked some ham separately and added it in with the simmering step, for a bit more flavor and because my roommate does not trust legume-based protein. She claims her nails haven’t been growing as fast and blames my cooking–I love legumes. I don’t think it was enough to make a real difference but it made her feel better. Plus ham is tasty, and the same ham steaks I bought before were still cheap. At any rate, I think this recipe would work with or without the meat.

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