Black-Eyed Pea Salad with spinach, leeks, and pomegranate


Black-eyed peas are a traditional good-luck dish at New Year’s throughout much of the American South and elsewhere. In Greece, it doesn’t have to be New Year’s to enjoy them. This is a modern take on a traditional Greek stew of black-eyed peas and greens, gussied up with some delicious pomegranate.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried black-eyed peas picked over for debris and rinsed
  • 2 leeks trimmed
  • ²⁄³ cup (160 ml) extra-virgin Greek olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Greek balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pound (450 g) spinach, trimmed
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • ¼ cup (25 g) chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup (250 ml) pomegranate seeds
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a kettle or saucepan of water to a boil.
  2. Place the black-eyed peas in a separate medium saucepan and add water to cover by 2 inches (5 cm). Bring to a boil over high heat, then drain.
  3. Return the black-eyed peas to the pot. Pour in enough boiling water to cover them by 2 inches (5 cm). Simmer the black-eyed peas over low heat for about 35 minutes, or until tender but al dente. Drain immediately into a colander and rinse.

  4. While the black-eyed peas are cooking, cut the leeks into ½-inch (1.5 cm) rounds. Rinse them very well to remove any grit. Spin dry in a salad spinner.

  5. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, season lightly with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks begin to brown lightly.

  6. Add 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and cook until the leeks are soft and caramelized.
  7. In a separate skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves are wilted and the liquid they have released has cooked off. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove from the heat.

  8. Combine the black-eyed peas, spinach-garlic mixture, leeks, and mint in a serving bowl. Add the remaining olive oil and remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with the pomegranate seeds, and serve.

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