This intensely flavorful recipe comes from the wonderful blog, Pescatarian Journal. We always feel a spiritual connection with Alaiyo’s food, which is land-animal free, often vegetarian and low fat, and using both familiar and unusual ingredients in exciting ways. Her black-eyed peas and polenta with minced collards really caught my eye. This then is my “version” of her masterpiece.
Of course, I’ve had to modify things a little. For starters, I used the purple kale that we’ve been growing in our community garden rather than collard greens. I put the stems in the polenta and sautéed the leaves to serve separately. I didn’t have fresh turmeric or ground chipotle pepper, so I used dried for the first and pasilla pepper for the second. I was anxious about not pre-soaking the dried black-eyed peas, so went ahead and did that for about 3 hours before cooking to relieve my nerves. Finally, I cooked the stems as described below.
This dish was really thrilling!
Oh, just remembered, I couldn’t find the quick-cooking polenta which was a real drag. Instead I used the regular stuff which I prepared over a double boiler per package instructions.
black-eyed peas with purple kale and polenta
for the black-eyed peas:
1½ cups dried black-eyed peas, rinsed, picked over and soaked in water about three hours
3 cups water
1 yellow onion, in medium dice
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp dried pasilla powder
1 tsp dried turmeric
Black pepper to taste
1 cup veggie stock (I made my own with onion and celery)
Kosher salt to taste
for the polenta:
1 cup polenta
2 to 3 tbsp mascarpone
¼ tsp ground white pepper
1 large bunch of purple kale stems, sliced thin
½ onion, in medium dice
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup sake or cooking wine (white)
Salt to taste
for the sautéed purple kale:
1 large bunch purple kale (use stems above), sliced finely
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
to prepare black-eyed peas:
Drain soaking peas. Place peas in pot with 3 cups water.
In a skillet, sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent. Don’t add salt or your peas won’t cook. Add garlic, turmeric and pasilla then cook for a half minute more. Add to peas and bring the pot to a boil then reduce to simmer. Stir occasionally. Add veggie stock when liquid is reduced by about half. Cook until peas are tender (about an hour). When ready, add salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.
to prepare polenta:
Sauté the onion and crushed garlic in olive oil with a pinch of salt. After they’ve begun to cook, add the kale stems and sauté for a few more minutes. Add sake and cover to let steam. If still not tender, add some water and let cook until tender. Discard garlic clove and set aside.
Follow package instructions for your polenta. Instead of butter or olive oil, add mascarpone at the end of cooking with the sautéed purple kale stems and white pepper. Press polenta into an oiled pie or cake dish. I used a pie-shaped serving dish. Set aside.
to prepare sautéed purple kale:
Merely sauté kale in olive oil. Add soy sauce and crushed red pepper after kale has begun to wilt.
to assemble dish:
Ladle some black-eyed peas onto a dinner plate. Top with a slice of polenta. Garnish with sautéed kale. Mmm-mmm-mmm! Thanks again for this amazing recipe, Alaiyo!