This time of year is the best time. The convergence of summer and fall veggies makes cooking even more inviting and offers an abundance of variety. I spied plump pumpkins in the fields this week too. The harvest will begin soon.
There’s a chill in the air. Dramatic gray skies are back and we’ve finally broken our dry streak. Our feathered friends from the North are returning and geese are flocking in their signature V shape fly overs. Hearing them call as they approach is like hearing from an old friend.
It’s time for some comfort food.
Black-eyed peas aren’t just for New Years. They’re a pantry staple I use frequently. Have you tried Black-Eyed Pea Collard Rolls or Black-Eyed Peas with Collard Greens and Cheesy Grits? Collards and black-eyed peas are a perfect pair and one of my favorite ways to enjoy them.
I never see fresh okra in our area, however. And I love it. Being from Texas it was a regular staple growing up, often fried with a side of ranch, but a familiar and treasured component to so many recipes or as a side dish.
While I can find frozen okra, I’m partial to fresh. So, I reached out to my friends at Melissa’s Produce and they sent me a generous supply to use in this recipe. And while fresh or frozen can be used here, if you can get your hands on fresh, do it!
Cooked, it’s not gooey or stringy in this recipe. Promise!
A Few Notes:
- Use soaked overnight, dried black-eyed peas or canned black-eyed peas (look for vegetarian) or pre-cooked slow cooked black-eyed peas in this recipe. If using dried, be sure to give them a soak overnight – I’ve read it improves their digestibility and decreases phytic acid. Using pre-cooked peas cuts the cook time by 40 minutes! So, if you’re meal planning, keep this in mind (noted in and below recipe).
- Use fresh or frozen okra in this recipe. It has the same cook time either way.
- Collard greens are available pretty much year round. They’re tender, mild and packed with nutrition!
- Harissa can be purchased as a paste or ground in spice jars. It’s a North African and Middle Eastern spice blend that’s somewhat spicy, and over the top flavorful. It includes spices such as chili, garlic, coriander, caraway and mint. I use the dried spice for this recipe. If you prefer paste, start with 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons and adjust to taste.
- This recipe freezes beautifully! Thaw in the fridge overnight and gently rewarm on the stove top.
Harissa Stewed Black-Eyed Peas with Okra and Collard Greens
Simple, saucy and over the top texture and flavor in Harissa Stewed Black-Eyed Peas with Okra and Collard Greens; a one pot meal! Be sure to soak those dried peas overnight. *See notes for cutting down on cook time using canned black-eyed peas instead of dried (time below is for dried beans). vegan + gluten free
- 1 1/4 C (230g) Dried Black-Eyed Peas soaked overnight, see notes if using already cooked black-eyed peas
- 1 1/2 Tbs Coconut Oil unrefined, virgin, cold pressed
- 1 C (120g) Purple or White Onion about 1 large
- 1 Tbs Garlic minced, about 2 large cloves
- 2 Tbs Tomato Paste
- 1 1/2 Tbs Harissa spice blend, dried, in ground form
- 3 1/2 C (785g) Water
- 1 1/2 C (411g) Fire Roasted Tomatoes one can
- 4 C (220g) Collard Greens destemmed, chopped into bite size pieces and packed, about 1 bunch
- 3 C (272g) Okra fresh or frozen
- 2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 Lemon juiced
- Parsley chopped for garnish
In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat oil to shimmering. Add the onion and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occassionally on medium-low or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, until fragrant. Stir in harissa and tomato paste, stirring to coat the onions for one minute. Add the ,dried (and soaked) black-eyed peas, and water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low to simmer. Place a lid on the pot and cook for 40 minutes.
If using canned or already cooked black eyed peas (*see note), drain peas, reduce water to about 3/4 cup (add more if needed), skip cooking for 40 minutes and continue on with the recipe.
To the black eyed peas, stir in the tomatoes, collard greens, and okra. Cook, lid on, on low for about 15-20 minutes, until the okra and collards are tender. Stir in the salt, pepper, cinnamon and lemon juice. Taste for seasoning adjustment (collards and black-eyed-peas can take on quite a bit of salt. I tend to add a pinch more than the 2 tsp here, but adjust to your taste). Garnish with parsley. Serve with brown basmati rice (cooked with a cinnamon stick!).
Store in a lidded container for up to three days in the refrigerator, or up to three weeks in the freezer.
*To reduce cook time: Use canned or prior cooked Slow Cooked Black-Eyed Peas in this recipe. The cook time can be reduced by about 40 minutes! After cooking the onions and spices and adding the reduced amount for water, stir in the cooked black-eyed peas then continue with the recipe.
Fresh or Frozen Okra: Use fresh or frozen okra in this recipe. If using frozen, be sure to sort out the tough ends and discard them.