In the southeast, we like black-eyed peas an collards for New Years. The black-eyed pea bring health (nutrition) and the greens (symbolizing greenbacks) bring $ for the coming year. The beans came to the Carolinas from Africa with the slaves. they were planted around fields to keep down weeds & provide nitrogen to the soil. Cattle munched on the tasty greens. Southerners claim the beans saved families from starvation after Sherman's March ending the Civil War.
Jessica Harris gives tidbits about black-eyed peas interesting folklore in the 12/29/10 OP-Ed piece in the NY Times.
Here's a salad i enjoyed at a 2009 holiday potluck. I'm told the recipe is from the Boathouse restaurant in Asheville. What ever its origins, it's tasty. I couldn't keep away from it! KB
Black-eyed Pea Salad
Low Country style black eyed pea salad
2C dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight
2 cloves garlic
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4 red onion
1 handful cilantro with stems
1 1/2t sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper - ground
1/4t whole peppercorns
3-4T cider vinegar
5T olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin - ground
1/4t cumin seeds
Cover beans with 1'water in pressure cooker. Add the handful of cilantro with stems, 1/4 red onion, garlic, peppercorns, cumin seed, & 3/4t of the salt. Use a teaball for the pepper and cumin seeds. Bring to full pressure, reduce heat to low and cook 10-12 min. natural release, drain beans, remove the spices, cilantro, onion & garlic.
Transfer the beans to a mixing bowl, add cilantro, remaining salt, ground pepper, and ground cumin... put some of the vinegar and oil into the bowl and mix around... the idea is to put enough vinegar and oil in it to coat the beans& veg, but to not totally cover them in the dressing so that they are swimming in the liquid....(if needed add more oil and vinegar).... mix all ingredients together well... cover and refrigerate... this is best if made at least 3-4 hrs before eating it.... after chilling, stir, taste and adjust seasonings to taste if needed.... this recipe tastes great as it sits and continues to marinate...