The Simple Goodness of Fresh Black-Eyed Peas

Fresh black-eyed peas star in a simple Southern preparation. shanagain cooks them in salted water with bacon, a whole garlic clove, and some diced onion, seasoning to taste as they cook. "If you have to shell them," she says, "leave some 'snaps'—about 1 1/2-inch long pea pods—in the mix." She also suggests using the cooked peas to make fried patties: Mash the peas a bit, season with minced garlic and onion and shallot, add just enough flour to bind the mixture, form into patties, and fry in bacon fat.

snix makes a slightly more complex dish, which he serves with rice: Sauté chopped onion, garlic, and celery in some bacon fat; add the peas, a ham hock, a bay leaf, and salt and pepper, and cover with stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook 45 minutes to an hour.

For a meatless alternative, try CHOW's Simmered Black-Eyed Peas with Tomatoes.

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