Like every good Southerner, I had my bowl of black eyed peas and collard greens for New Years. I believe the black eyed peas represent coins and the greens represent bills (in which case, my photo should be a big pile of greens with a topping of black eyed peas!).
I’m not posting a recipe about my black eyed peas because every year they are different. This year in place of ham, or ham bone, I used smoked turkey necks. They added a nice smokey flavor and a surprising amount of meat (I removed them a little before serving, let them cool a bit, pulled off the meat and added it back to the peas in the slow cooker). What I want to talk about is the collard greens.
I don’t cook the collard greens with the black eyed peas, as a matter of fact, I barely cook them at all. Right before serving the peas, I remove the heavy stems from the collard greens, wash and shake off the extra moisture, roll them up cigar style and thinly slice them. I heat up some olive oil with a generous teaspoon of hot pepper flakes in a cast iron skillet. When the oil is hot and the pepper fumes are catching you in the back of your throat, add the collard greens. Careful, the water will pop and sizzle. I add a sprinkling of salt and quickly toss them in the hot oil. I stir them around until all of the strands are coated with the oil and have deepened their green color (just a couple of minutes). Then I add them atop the black-eyed peas at serving, almost like a condiment. They stay nice and crispy and provide a balance to softness of the black-eyed peas. Serve with some hot chili pepper vinegar.
This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at the every so lovely Rattlebridge Farm.