The day before: put the peas to soak in cold water overnight.
The next day: destalk the spinach. Peel and dice the onion and garlic.
Bring the peas to the boil in plenty of water, strain immediately in a colander. Rinse, return to the pan and cover with fresh cold water. Bring to the boil again, lower to a simmer and cook, tasting after 20-30 minutes when they may be done. If not, continue to simmer until they are, but checking every 5 minutes as black-eyed peas generally do not need such long cooking as other beans.
Blanch the spinach for 30 seconds in a large pan of rapidly boiling salted water, then refresh in cold water. Drain in a colander.
Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add to the beans and stir in the spinach. Season with salt and pepper and allow the spinach to warm through for a minute or so.
Serve in bowls with lemon wedges as a first course.
© 1995 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.