Fresh Black-Eyed Peas and Rice

August 4, 2006

Fresh Black-Eyed Peas and Rice

Hoppin’ John is what this dish is called in the American South. Slaves
introduced the famous “pea” pilau on the rice plantations of the South
Carolina low country, and it’s closely related to common African and
West Indian concoctions. Carolina cooks put their stamp on Hoppin’
John through local ingredients, particularly the field peas and long-grain
rice, the type grown originally in the low country. Many people treat it
as a side dish, but it can also be on the center of the plate, accompanied
by a summer salad.

1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1 pound fresh black-eyed peas (1 cup shelled)
1 cup water
Salt and pepper
Unsalted butter
A few sprigs savory

Put the rice in a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Salt the
water and add the black-eyed peas. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes,
until the rice is just cooked; the peas will be tender as well. Stir in a little
butter and some freshly chopped savory leaves. Taste for salt; add a few
grinds of pepper. Serves 4.

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