Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 

Our New Year's Day tradition is to eat black-eyed peas to bring good tidings for the coming year. It's a tradition that we've adopted from the South as it just seems like a wholesome and nutritious way to begin a bright new year. 

We've used a different recipe every year but I think this time, we've found a keeper. It's a simple herb-based recipe with a decadent walnut sauce - it is so good! 

As per the recipe, Mike soaked and cooked the beans - and then I took over from there. This made him very nervous as he knows how hard it is for me to stick to a recipe. 

This is what sets Mike and I apart in the kitchen. He sees recipes as road maps to a wonderful destination. I do as well but I seem to take a few detours along the way. I'm not proud of it, especially when things don't turn out. Baked goods are most vulnerable. But I managed to follow the recipe this time, and the dish was delicious! 

The black-eyed peas and walnut sauce recipes come from Madhur Jeffrey's World Vegetarian, a book we've enjoyed for years. The black-eyed peas recipe is available online here

The walnut sauce recipe, which is so worth making as an accompaniment, is:

1/2 cup shelled walnuts
5 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 cup vegetable stock or cooking liquid from black-eyed peas

For sauce, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Put in the walnuts and let them boil rapidly for 3 minutes; drain. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and stock in a blender. Crumble the walnuts and add them as well. Blend, pushing down with a rubber spatula when needed, until you have a smooth paste. Pour the sauce over black-eyed peas and serve. 

This sauce would be great on anything - stir fry, steamed vegetables, beans, etc. It has a wonderful flavor. If you don't like things too lemony, I'd reduce the lemon just a tad. 

Bon Appetite and Happy New Year! 


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