Hoppin’ John is a classic good-luck dish for New Year’s in the American South, since black-eyed peas are symbols of abundance, and collards are reminiscent of banknotes. This simple, lighter version of the traditional dish will certainly give you good health in the New Year.
1 cup dried black-eyed peas
3 cups water
3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch collard greens
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1. Soak dried peas in 3 cups water for 6 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse, and sort to remove any discolored peas.
2. In a large saucepan, place the peas with broth and garlic. Cover partially and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer. Cover and cook, removing foam that rises to the surface, for around an hour, until the peas are tender.
3. Meanwhile, remove central ribs from collards, then stack the leaves, roll them like cigars, and cut in to 1/2-inch bundles.
4. When peas are tender, add greens and salt to taste. Continue to simmer 6 to 8 minutes, until collards are tender but still bright green.
5. Taste to adjust seasoning, adding salt if necessary, and also adding freshly-ground black pepper, and serve hot.
Inspired by The Balanced Plate, by Renee Loux (Rodale Press, 2006).
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