Quinoa with Black-Eyed Peas and Tomatoes

Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas and quinoa make a hearty pair, embellished with lots of flavorful tomatoes. Try serving this with Chili Cheese Grits and a simple coleslaw or salad. If you can, do try the liquid smoke or mesquite seasoning, either of which add a subtle smoky flavor. Think of this almost as a contemporary version of Hoppin’ John.

Serves: 6

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (try this with red quinoa)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, or one head shallots, minced
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Two pounds ripe fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 15-to 16-ounce can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Dried hot red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke or mesquite seasoning, or to taste, optional
  • Fresh basil leaves to taste, thinly sliced (use generously!)

Combine the quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rapid simmer, then cover and simmer gently until the broth is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. If you’re using red quinoa, it seems to absorb a little more water than regular, so if it isn’t cooked to your liking, stir in an additional 1/2 cup water and cook until it’s absorbed.

Heat the oil in a stir-fry pan or wide skillet. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté over low heat until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, black-eyed peas, and thyme. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then stir in the cooked quinoa. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Season with red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and optional liquid smoke or mesquite. Stir in some basil, and add an extra sprinkling over the top. Serve straight from the pan.

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