Black-eyed peas and Zipper peas


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Last night, we went over to our dear friends Lauren and Jason’s house to pick peas for our dinner. Jason has an amazing green thumb, and his garden full of peas and peppers shows it. Because I grew up above the Mason-Dixon line and knew Black-eyed Peas as a band, not as a vegetable, this was my foray into picking, shelling, and cooking these delicious legumes.

Although these look like beans, they’re classified as peas because peas, unlike beans, have hollow stems. Also, pea plants use tendrils to twine. (We spent way too much time arguing about the difference of the species; I’m adding this here for the record.)

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{These cute little tree frogs were all over.}


1 lb fresh black-eyed peas and/or zipper peas
1/2 c vinegar
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 T butter
1 t salt (or more to taste)


After shelling the peas (we used both the dried and still green peas), put them in a stock pot. Cover with water, and bring to a boil. Add the vinegar: this step is key; you may need more vinegar depending on your taste. It brightens the flavor tremendously. Add the rest of the ingredients, and bring to a boil. You can also add bacon, back-fat, or pork if you’d like to make it more of a meatier side dish. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the beans are soft.


We had them with steak and chimichurri sauce, asparagus on the grill, and salad. Between the food and company, the evening was divine.


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