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New Year's Day Black-Eyed Peas
© Rob Howard

New Year's Day Black-Eyed Peas

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 30 MIN plus overnight soaking
  • SERVINGS: 10
  • HEALTHY
  • MAKE-AHEAD

"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.

  1. 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  2. 1 very large onion, finely chopped
  3. 1 very large carrot, finely chopped
  4. 5 garlic cloves—4 minced, 1 whole
  5. 1 pound dried black-eyed peas (about 2 1/4 cups), soaked overnight and drained
  6. Two 1-pound smoked ham hocks
  7. 2 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  8. 2 bay leaves
  9. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  10. 1 small baguette, sliced diagonally 3/4 inch thick
  11. Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
  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.