the taste space

Southern Black Eyed Peas with Stewed Tomatoes

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Sides by janet @ the taste space on December 31, 2013

Southern Black Eyed Peas with Stewed Tomatoes

I have embraced the hidden Texan in me. Only the good parts, obviously.

Especially when it involves beans.

I mean peas. Peas, beans, all the same, right? (Not if you don’t like peas!)

As I discovered earlier, black eyed peas taste so much better when cooked from fresh. After you cook them from recently picked pods, that is when you figure out why they are called black eyed PEAS. 

Southern Black Eyed Peas with Stewed Tomatoes

Many of the Southern United States grow field peas, such as black eyed peas, including Texas. Local, fresh black eyed peas are easily found in local grocers right now. A longstanding Southern tradition for forthcoming good luck is to eat black eyed peas and collard greens (a dish named Hoppin John) on New Year’s Day. This year, I decided to try a different variation on Southern stewed beans: black eyed peas are simmered in a Creole-spiced tomato sauce. I skipped the collards (the horror) in lieu of brown rice, but that was merely due to my lack of judgment at the grocery store this weekend.

I routinely get into a (deliciously yummy) rut with similar flavours – cumin, coriander, garlic and ginger – but I liked how simple this dish was, yet it was deliciously flavoured. I whipped together my own version of Creole seasoning right into the tomatoes. Creole seasoning should be easy to make, as it is a mix based on paprika, onion, garlic, thyme and oregano. In the heat of the kitchen, I mistakenly thought Old Bay seasoning would be a quasi-supplemental spice mixture. The celery-dominant Old Bay seasoning made up for my lack of celery from the holy trinity of Creole cuisine: a mirepoix from onions, bell peppers and celery. In the end, this turned out to be a wonderful success.

Do you try to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day?

Southern Black Eyed Peas with Stewed Tomatoes

Other black eyed pea recipes here:

Hillbilly Hummus (Black Eyed Pea and Peanut Butter Hummus)

Smoky Black Eyed Pea and Kale Stew

Garlicky and Lemony Black Eyed Pea and Kale Salad

Goan Black Eyed Pea Curry with Coconut Milk

Other Southern beans and greens recipes here:

Southern Beans and Greens Saute

Citrus Collards and Chickpeas

PS. The winners for Indian Cooking Unfolded are Michaela, Elizabeth, Marsha, and Joanne.

Southern Black Eyed Peas with Stewed Tomatoes
Adapted from Afro-Vegan

12 oz fresh black eyed peas (or 1 cup dried black eyed peas, or 3 cups cooked black eyed peas)
salt, to taste

1 tbsp olive oil, or oil of choice
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp Old Bay Seasoning, divided (make your own with this recipe or this recipe)
1/2 tsp No Salt Seasoning (I used TJ’s 21-Seasoning Salute)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
scant 1/4 tsp dried Mexican oregano (regular oregano is fine, too)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp Aleppo chile flakes, or to taste
28 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1.5 cups water (or vegetable broth)
1 tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced

cooked brown rice, for serving

1. Begin by cooking your black eyed peas. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add peas, reduce heat, cover and simmer until almost soft. Add a touch of salt and simmer 5 minutes more. This will take 15-30 minutes, if using fresh peas, or 45-60 minutes of using dried. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Once hot, add onions and sprinkle with salt. Saute until softened, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes more, careful not to let it burn. Add 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning, no-salt seasoning, thyme, oregano, smoked paprika, and chile flakes. Stir to toast slightly, approximately 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, nutritional yeast and water. Bring to a simmer. Once your peas are cooked through, add to the tomato sauce. Continue to simmer your tomato sauce for 30 minutes, until it reaches a thicker consistency and the flavours meld. Add an additional 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning and season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh basil and remove from heat. Allow basil to cook for 3 minutes or so, as the dish cools. Serve with cooked brown rice.

Serves 4.

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10 Responses

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  1. sprint2thetable said, on December 31, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    I’m eating my peas this year – I made a hummus out of them because I’m a terrible Southerner and don’t like the usual stew. Or collards for that matter. I don’t know what happened to me… LOL!

    Happy New Year!

  2. Laura said, on December 31, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Delicious! I think I need to start the tradition of black eyed peas on NYE now!

  3. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on December 31, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Of course you would find a way to make beans a NYE tradition ;) Happy New Years!

  4. chrissieh said, on December 31, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Yum. Your black-eyed peas look great. Yes, like every other Southerner I know, New Year’s Day means black-eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread. For those that don’t care for the traditional hot dish, there is Texas Caviar, which is not caviar at all; but rather, a cold pickled relish/salad made with black-eyed peas, onions, hot peppers, etc., and often served as a dip with crackers. It’s a favorite thing for Texas cooks to “put up” in pretty glass jars and take around to the neighbors and friends to wish them good luck in the coming year.

  5. ChrissieH said, on December 31, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Just to add… Laura said something about black-eyed peas on NYE. In order to keep with tradition, one must have one’s lucky peas on New Year’s Day itself. Early on NYE won’t work. So it’s also popular at New Year’s Eve gatherings to pass around little bowls of black-eyed peas just after midnight. And there you go – tradition kept.

  6. Joanne said, on December 31, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Ooo I’ve never had fresh black-eyed peas but they sound glorious. Worth a trip to the south for sure!! What a great good luck meal.

  7. Ellen Lederman said, on December 31, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    Sounds good. I’d love to make them, but our traditional NYD recipe is black eyed peas and spinach with Indian spices. But in a few weeks….

  8. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts said, on January 1, 2014 at 1:32 AM

    I’m really embarrassed to confess I didn’t know why black eyed peas were called that (i.e., that they WERE peas!). I’ve always called them beans but will convert as of now! This recipe looks like a great way to bring in 2014 :)

  9. […] my lack of collard greens for my New Year’s Day black eyed peas, I ended up eating tacos on New Year’s Day. Not these ones, mind you (cleaning out the blog […]

  10. […] to Cajun Rice and Beans. In my mind, I must have known the flavours were akin to my previous Southern black eyed peas with tomatoes, where I also substituted Old Bay for Cajun seasoning. Perhaps a mirepoix of celery and bell pepper […]


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