This is a traditional New Year’s Day dish, what with the black eyed peas and all, but I think it is a pretty tasty and hearty meal to enjoy year-round. You can’t really go wrong with rice and beans — filling, nutritious and a complete protein, too.
This recipe is adapted from The Ethnic Vegetarian by Angela Shelf Medearis — a cookbook I highly recommend.
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 bell peppers, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 dried chipotle peppers
salt, pepper to taste
2 cups black-eyed peas, soaked for several hours
4 cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup uncooked rice
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion for 10 minutes, until slightly golden. Add the garlic, celery, pepper, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, sugar, cayenne, and a few grinds of black pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes, until vegetables have softened and spices are fragrant.
Add vegetable broth and peas and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, with pot partially covered, for at least one hour, until peas are thoroughly softened.
Add the rice — I used a mixture of white basmati and Thai red jasmine rice — and cook for 20-30 minutes, until the rice is done.
I ate this for breakfast on New Year’s Day, in a sort of southern/African version of huevos rancheros or gallo pinto: