The black-eyed pea has been a favorite of my family for generations. I remember the distinctive fragrance of the steam emanating from the boiling water as a child, and it brings back great memories of my mom’s home cooking. With a piece of homemade cornbread, sliced tomatoes, and black-eyed peas, nothing else mattered much.
This recipe combines a healthful grain, barley, with my Fresh Tomato Sauce and the black-eyed pea. The quantities below are for a large dish of multiple servings throughout the week as an entree, and you may want to adjust to fit your needs.
4 cups dried black-eyed peas
2 cups whole grain dry barley
24 oz Fresh Tomato Sauce (Very Spicy. If you want something less so, you can use “no salt added” variety off the grocery shelf, adding your own favorite spices)
Unlike most dry bean preparations, for black-eyed peas, it is not necessary to soak them for several hours ahead of time. In fact, by doing so, the peas are less suited for this recipe because they can lose their “whole” appearance and get too mushy. Instead, wash the peas thoroughly and boil them for about ten minutes, or until the peas are chewable but still retain good firmness.
While peas are boiling, rinse the dry barley thoroughly with tap water, drain and pour into large mixing bowl.
Add Fresh Tomato Sauce to barley.
Remove peas from heat and dump them into a colander. Run cool tap water over them to rinse off any remaining residue. When drained, add the peas to the other ingredients and combine by stirring lightly. Empty into oven-safe dish, and just enough water, if necessary, to cover the peas (This step may not be necessary, though you want to make sure all the peas have access to direct moisture.). Check every 30 minutes to make sure the peas are moist. Add small amounts of water, if needed.
Heat in covered dish at 380 degrees for about 90 minutes.