Black eyed peas stewed with greens

Jan 7, 2015

This post was especially written for Pretty Greek Villas, a site owned by my friends Marie- Louise and Ben. If you are thinking Greece this summer, take a look,for some of the most beautiful villas in the country.

Peloponnesian cuisine is influenced by its sea-girt mountainous topography. Olive oil, wine, grains, pulses, herbs, wild greens, fish, goat and sheep meat, cheese and honey have been staples in local pantries for millenia.  Though olive trees do not flourish at its highest altitudes, still one third of the country’s entire production comes from here because of the quality of the soil and the mild climate. In fact, Peloponnesian cuisine could be described as an olive oil cuisine since generous amounts of olive oil (often added towards the end of cooking) are poured over greens, beans, and all sorts of stews. 
The Northern Peloponnese cuisine has also been influenced by migrations over its long history and so it comprises elements of both the mainland and the islands,.  Most of the dishes fall into the category of one-pot meals in which ingredients are matched wisely to give nutritious and filling dishes, - all based on seasonal production. A characteristic autumn dish in our area is made with beans from the valley of ancient Feneos and greens found in every garden. It is a humble but flavorful dish, elegant in its simplicity. 

Black eyed beans (also called black eyed peas) stewed with greens 

Serves 6

300gr dried black eyed peas
200gr olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 spring onion trimmed and chopped
700g mixed greens (chard, spinach, collards, parsley) trimmed and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a pot place the black-eyed beans and two litres of water and bring to a boil. Then drain the peas in a colander, place them back to the pot with fresh cold water and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20-30min until tender. The fresher the peas are, the faster they cook.
Meanwhile in a deep skillet over medium heat, add 1/3 of the olive oil and cook the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally until wilted. Add the chopped greens and spring onion to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, cover with the lid and cook for 15-20min until soft. Add some boiling water if extra liquid is required.
When the greens have cooked, drain the black-eyed peas, discard the water and add the peas to the pot with the greens, stiring softly to combine. Cook for further 5min, and just before you remove the skillet from the heat add the rest of the olive oil. 

Serve warm.

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