Braised CollardsBraised Collards & Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas
january 1, 2018

For as long as I can remember, I've made Deborah Madison's Braised Collards on New Year's Day, with her Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas alongside. So when my mom asked for the recipe late last year, I thought it'd be easy enough to just send her a link to my blog. 

But it turns out, since starting Eating Dirt (way back in...let me look...2010!), I've only posted about New Year's Day collards twice, and the only post that actually includes the recipe is, for some reason I can't figure out, not easy to find. I had to send my own mother a link to someone else's blog to get her the recipe. Yikes.

So I've fixed that. Here they are, the recipes for my go-to New Year's Day dinner, ready and waiting for next year. And that's a wrap: bye-bye 2017, I am done with you - so long, farewell, good riddance.

Bring it on, 2018! This year's dinner posts are going to be more user friendly, easier to find, super practical and have better photos than ever before. Come check it out!

And don't forget to start the beans before you make the greens. They take longer.


Braised Collards: (adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone p.379)

4 bunches collards greens, long stems and tough ribs removed

1/4 cup butter 

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Bring a large pot with lots of salted water in it to boil while cleaning the greens. To clean them, wash each leaf, shake off the water, then grasp the thick end of the stem and pull your hand quickly toward the top of the leaf. This separates the leaf from the thick stem. Chop the leaves into 1-2 inch pieces, and then give them another rinse in your salad spinner if they look at all dirty or sandy. 

When all are ready, drop the greens into the boiling water, wait for the water to return to a boil. Let them cook for about ten minutes, uncovered. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then dump the rest of the pot into a colander in the sink.

While that drains, heat the butter over medium heat in a skillet large enough to hold all the ingredients. The original recipe explains how to make brown butter and use that, but now I just let the butter brown a little in the pan before adding the other ingredients. Making real, honest-to-goodness brown butter is a separate step I'm just not going to bother with. You can see those instructions here, in the original post, if you want to bother.

Add the onions, garlic and pepper flakes, slightly lower the heat and stir occasionally. Let the mixture cook until softened, about ten minutes, but don’t let it brown. Add the greens, the reserved water and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for 30 minutes and taste again for salt. In Deborah Madison’s words, “they can use a lot." But be careful, you don't want to overdo it!


Black-Eyed Peas: (adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone p.306)

Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 onion, diced

1 celery rib, diced

3 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 cup dried black-eyed peas

1 quart water or stock of your choice (2 cups if making this in an Instant Pot)

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Heat the oil and butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, bay leaves, thyme and garlic. Lower the heat and cook, stirring from time to time, until the onions and celery are soft - about 15 minutes. Add the allspice and chili flakes and cook for a few minutes. Add the water and peas, then simmer partially covered for 40 minutes. When the peas begin to soften, add the salt and then cook until they are as tender as you like, usually 10-20 minutes more. Keep in mind that  just like beans, the time it takes to cook dried black-eyed peas can vary dramatically due to a number of conditions (age of peas, elevation, moisture in the atmosphere, etc).

If making this in an Instant Pot, add the salt while cooking the onions and celery, then pressure cook on high for 20 minutes and let the pot depressurize on its own. If the peas aren't tender enough after that, simmer using the sauté setting on low (or custom) until they are.

Serve with rice, if you'd like, and Braised Collards.


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