I brought home two cookbooks from my recent trip to the US. Mediterranean Light, by Martha Rose Shulman, and World of Jewish Cooking by Gil Marks. Just about every recipe in Shulman’s book works for me: Whole grains, legumes, vegetables and olive oil. While Marks’ recipes are intriguing, too many include a stick or two of margarine or butter. This recipe, for Sephardic Black-Eyed Peas with Tomatoes, is one of the exceptions. Shulman’s book has a similar recipe.
Black-eyed peas are traditionally served on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year coming up in September.
Fijones Frescos: Sephardic Black-Eyed Peas with Tomatoes
By Gil Marks
- 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups water
- 3 pounds fresh [not dried] black-eyed peas (4 cups shelled) or 20 ounces frozen black-eyed peas
- 3 cups (1-1/2 pounds) peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes, 8 ounces tomato sauce, or 3 tablespoons tomato paste.
- About 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- Ground black pepper to taste.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the peas and tomatoes, tomato sauce, or paste, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, adding more water if necessary, until tender, about 45 minutes for fresh, about 30 minutes for frozen. Season with the salt and pepper. Black-eyed peas are generally served over rice.
Variation: Substitute 1-1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas for the fresh beans.Increase water to 3 cups, and increase the cooking time to about 1-1/4 hours.
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