Makes:6 to 8 servings (4 cups)
This recipe [from Congregation Or VeShalom Sisterhood, Atlanta, Georgia] is adapted from the sisterhood’s synagogue cookbook, The Sephardic Cooks. It is traditional to serve these peas with “pink rice,” Sephardic-style rice cooked with a bit of tomato sauce. Miriam Cohen, a longtime member of the Sephardic community in Montgomery, Alabama, told me, “You know, when I cook pink rice, my son says, ‘This is Jewish soul food!’ It is, you know.”
Note: Recipes in Marcie Cohen Ferris’s book Matzoh Ball Gumbo were compiled from a diverse mix of Jewish Southerners who have blended religion and region through home cooking.
2 boxes (10 ounces each) frozen black-eyed peas; if you use fresh peas, add more water if necessary
1 1/4 cups water
In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the tomato starts to soften, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the black-eyed peas and water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the peas are tender, about 30 minutes. Taste and correct the seasoning, if necessary. Serve the peas hot or warm.