"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.
More Southern Recipes
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 small baguette, sliced diagonally 3/4 inch thick
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
How to Make It
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.
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.
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.
The black-eyed peas can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
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