New Year's Day Black-Eyed Peas

"Growing up in a large family of mixed heritage in the South, it seemed only natural to make things up as we went along," says Ryan Hardy. "My mother, a Yankee, insisted that it was good luck to have black-eyed peas on New Year's Day and she'd save the bones from country ham hunks just for that day." Hardy, who has childhood memories of black-eyed peas simmering on the front burner (and collards on the back burner), has adapted the recipe over the years; he now serves the hearty peas with garlic-rubbed toasts and garnishes them with generous amounts of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Slideshow: More Southern Recipes

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10
  • Time(Other): plus overnight soaking

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  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 very large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 very large carrot, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves—4 minced, 1 whole
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas (about 2 1/4 cups), soaked overnight and drained
  • Two 1-pound smoked ham hocks
  • 2 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small baguette, sliced diagonally 3/4 inch thick
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot and minced garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the drained black-eyed peas, ham hocks, chicken stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover partially and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Season generously with salt and pepper and let stand for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the bread slices in the oven for about 8 minutes, until golden. Brush lightly with olive oil and rub lightly with the garlic clove.

  3. Drain the black-eyed peas; discard the ham hocks and bay leaves. Transfer the peas to a serving bowl. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve the black-eyed peas with the garlic toasts, passing grated cheese at the table.

Make Ahead

The black-eyed peas can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Contributed By Photo © Rob Howard Published January 2008

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