In the South, black-eyed peas are associated with the power to bring good luck and prosperity. As we try to ward off the impact of COVID-19, we could all use the good fortune of southern cooking in Maine. — EYDIE PRYZANT, Falmouth

Black-Eyed Peas
If ya’ll like it hot and spicy, add Tabasco to taste. I use Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian for the vegetable broth.

1 pound dried black-eyed peas

3½ quarts vegetable broth

2 bay leaves

1 head garlic

Extra-virgin olive oil

2 red bell peppers

Rice, for serving

Soak the black-eyed peas overnight in water. The next morning, drain and rinse the peas. Add the soaked peas, vegetable broth and bay leaves to a large pot. Bring the mixture to a low boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or until tender (the time will depend on the age of your beans), stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, roast the garlic: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Rub off most of the garlic’s papery skin. Cut off the top ½ inch from the bulb. Place the bulb in a baking pan, drizzle with the olive oil, add 2 tablespoons water to bottom of pan, cover with aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and when the bulb is cool enough to handle, remove the cloves from their skin. Mash the garlic in 3 tablespoons water and set aside.

Roast the red pepper: Set the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the peppers in half and remove the stems, seeds, and membranes. Lay them, cut side down, and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and when the peppers are cool enough to handle, cut them into 1-inch pieces.

When the black-eyed peas are tender, remove ½ cup of peas and mash them in 1 cup of water. Add back to the pot along with the roasted garlic puree and the diced red pepper. Cook for 15 minutes more, adding up to 1 cup more vegetable broth if the mixture is too thick.

Serve over rice.


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