Recipe: Hoppin’ John

Traditionally, Hoppin’ John uses ham hocks or bacon to add a smoky flavor to nutrient-rich beans. In lieu of this, I’ve used chipotle powder to add spiciness and smokiness to this traditional Southern New Year dish. Eaten annually on the first day of the New Year, Hoppin’ John is supposed to ensure good luck. It certainly worked for me last year!

  • 6 scallions
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 1 small bunch collard greens or kale, chopped
  • 1.5 cup dried black eyed peas, cooked (or 2 x 10 oz package frozen black eyed peas, thawed and rinsed or 2-15 oz can, thoroughly rinsed)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • 12 fl oz vegetarian broth or bean liquid

To cook dried peas, place in a small soup pot and cover with water – about 2″ over bean line. Soak overnight, drain, rinse, and cover with water again. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmering until tender, about 2 hours. Drain.

Trim scallions. Remove the dark green tops and set aside. Cut the white and light green sections into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the carrot and stir well to coat with oil. Add the white and light green sections of the scallions and the celery, reduce heat to low and saute for 2 minutes. Add the kale and bell peppers and saute for about 3 minutes or until the carrot begins to brown. Add the black-eyed peas and stir well. Saute for 1 minute. Add the bay leaf, salt, black pepper, chipotle, garlic and broth. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid is almost completely absorbed – there should still be about 1/3 cup sauce.

Thinly slice the dark green scallion tops while the mixture simmers. Then stir in half the scallion greens. Ladle the hoppin’ john over a bed of cooked rice and sprinkle with remaining scallion greens.