Blackeye Pea and Kale Hummus


Blackeye Pea and Kale Hummus



For New Year’s Day this year, I tried something new, something that combines the Southern traditions
of eating blackeye peas for good fortune in the coming year and greens to bring money in as well. The family lives in Georgia, other than one grandson who spends college time in New York State. The dish will serve all the ones in Athens this New Year. It is a dip with crackers to accompany it.


The recipe makes a little over a pint, enough to serve 12 or more as an appetizer.


1 (12-ounce) package frozen blackeye peas

1/4 teaspoon salt for the peas

1 small bunch curly kale, about 2 1/2 cups of torn-off leaves

3 tablespoons olive oil, part for the kale, part for the hummus

2 large green onions, white and green parts

2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)

1 tablespoon wine vinegar or lemon juice, plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt for the hummus, plus more to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

A large pinch cayenne


Cook the frozen blackeye peas: place them in a small pot with 3/4 cup water plus 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, stir. Reduce heat and simmer, covered but stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes. Add a little water from time to time if the pot is becoming dry. Let cool.


Rinse and drain the kale. Rip the green leafy parts off the stems. Discard the stems, and coarsely cut up the leaves with a chef’s knife on a cutting board. Place kale leaves in a frying pan, add a tablespoon olive oil and a few tablespoons water to the pan. Gently fry this mixture, turning it frequently with a spatula and adding a little water as it cooks off from the pan. Fry the mixture until the leaves soften and wilt. Let cool.


Using a food processor, chop up the green onions, first cut into 1-inch lengths. Then add the tahini, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the black eye peas and their liquid, fried greens, vinegar or lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne. Pulse the food processor to begin to puree the mixture, scraping down the sides of the container. Add a little water as needed to make a soft paste. Puree the mixture well. Taste and add vinegar or lemon juice, if needed, to give a mild tang. Add salt to taste, if any is needed.


It’s best to store the mixture, refrigerated, an hour or more, or even overnight, for the flavors to mellow. Serve as an appetizer with crackers.

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