Black-Eyed Peas & Spinach

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Appears in

Food of the Sun: A Fresh Look at Mediterranean Cooking

Food of the Sun

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1995

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This is a particularly good combination, which is as nice cold as it is hot. If accompanying a rich meat dish, like the Herb-braised Rabbit, then do not use more oil than is specified here.

If serving only 4, you could make half the amount given below, but since the dish will keep happily in the refrigerator for 2 days it is as well to make this large quantity to eat first hot, and then later cold as a salad or as part of a mezze. It can also be reheated and puréed with excellent results. If eating cold or as a puree, add more olive oil.


  • 450 g/1 lb black-eyed peas
  • 450 g/1 lb spinach
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 lemons, to serve



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.

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