In the South, it is customary on New Year’s Day to eat black-eyed peas to ensure good luck and prosperity. Now, I am not a southern girl, but I did spend 6 years of my life in Birmingham, Alabama (where my family still resides). Prior to that, I was a New Yorker all the way. And now…relocated to Southern Indiana…where the Louisville, Kentucky food scene is taking flight, well…I can’t say that I don’t try anything new!
Granted, traditionally, this dish would be served with collard greens…but I’m a kale girl myself. Love me some kale. And I just happened to have kale in my crisper drawer…because…what girl doesn’t? So, on New Year’s Day…I cooked up a my kale with black-eyed peas and hoped that it would bring luck and prosperity to me this year.
It’s too early to say whether this worked or not…but what I can say is…the dish was phenomenal. I played around with a recipe out of my Clean Food cookbook. Whether you have always followed this tradition or are just hearing about it, like me, I figured I had nothing to lose by cooking it up. And neither do you!
Go ahead…eat up!
Recipe: Kale and Black-Eyed Peas
Time: Prep 10 minutes; Cook 10 minutes
- 1 large bunch of kale
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- water, as needed
- 1-1/2 cups cooked black eyed peas
- dash of apple cider vinegar
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Remove the stems from the kale and chop the leaves into bite-size pieces.
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté garlic and onion in olive oil until soft. Add the kale and stir until it turns bright green and wilts. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed, to keep the kale from burning.
Add the black-eyed peas and vinegar and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes to heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
It’s traditional. It’s easy. It’s delicious! I was actually surprised. I’m not a huge fan of Southern food…but this was fantastic. Seasoned perfectly. Really packed with flavor. And carrying a traditional promise of good fortune and luck. If nothing else…I at least got a fantastic meal out of it.
So go ahead…branch out. Try something clean, something new, and something totally yummy!