Featured in Fresh Chefs, a collection of recipes from the 4-H family

About the Activity

“This recipe is a celebration on toast. Black-eyed peas, along with tomatoes and bell peppers are traditional Southern ingredients that are often paired together during celebrations. In black culture, black-eyed peas represent survival, the ability to thrive, fertility, and prosperity. Each New Year, eating black-eyed peas is considered good luck.

Normally I like cooking beans from scratch, except with this dish. You can use a good quality canned bean to whip this up for an impromptu crowd, and save yourself some time. If you want to use fresh beans instead, directions follow the main recipe.”

Grade Level: 1-8
Topic: Food Science, Food Safety

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Servings: 4 - 6

Submitted by Lazarus Lynch, Chef, Author, Activist, New York 4-H Alum

creole-spiced black eyed peas on crusty toast recipe from 4-H

Supplies and Ingredients
Gather the following ingredients and supplies for this activity.

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans organic black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Gala apple, cored, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning
  • Juice from ½ lemon, freshly squeezed
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Good quality olive oil
  • 1 large loaf sourdough bread, cut into 3 ½-inch-thick slices, then halved (you will end up with 6 pieces total, each about 3-4-inches wide)
  • 1 small clove of garlic
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Activity Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the black-eyed peas, apple, green bell pepper, red onion, celery, parsley, Creole Seasoning lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and ¼ cup olive oil.
  3. Lightly brush each slice of the bread with olive oil. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned on top, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the bread from the oven and immediately (but carefully) rub the top surface each slice of bread with the garlic clove. (Use tongs to hold the bread if your hands cannot handle the heat).
  5. Top each piece of toast with a few tablespoons of the black-eyed pea mixture, top with more olive oil, and Creole Seasoning.

Cooking Method for Fresh Black-Eyed Peas

  1. In a large sauce pot, fill with 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, wash and cover the peas with water and 1/3 teaspoon kosher salt.
  2. Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until peas are tender.
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