This year I also wanted to try my first black eyed peas, but the traditional dish of Hoppin' John doesn't appeal to me. Instead, I decided to try something a little different by using black eyed peas in a veggie burger. Even though I ate this a few days after New Year's Day, I'm hoping they'll still bring me some luck this year. And if not, at least I got a delicious meal (plus lots of leftovers) out of them!
The original recipe for these burgers called for canned black eyed peas, but I couldn't find them at my grocery store so I bought the dried kind. I was so fascinated by them when I poured them out of the bag; aren't they pretty?
The dried kind obviously increase the prep time for this dish because they have to cook for an hour, but they don't require any work other than throwing them in a pot of water. And since they're getting mashed up after anyway, it doesn't matter if they get a little mushy or stick to the pot. If you want to use the canned beans though, I'm sure the final dish will turn out just as good!
Once the beans cooked, I mashed them up and mixed them with some red pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, and other spices to make a very flavourful burger patty (that actually looked a lot like a meat burger too). They held together really well after cooking, and I would have been quite happy to eat the patty on its own (or with a dollop of sour cream), but the addition of the salsa really made this dish burst with flavour. I changed a few things with the salsa and ended up with a mixture of tomato, red pepper, avocado, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice, which once again I would have been happy to eat alone with a spoon, but it complemented the burgers really well! I haven't tried eating them like a burger but I imagine they would be delicious on a bun with the salsa piled on top too.
I took really quick pictures of the leftovers before I left for school and I didn't have time to figure out a way to get good lighting or to make these patties look appealing, so you'll just have to trust me that they taste a lot better than they look here!
Black Eyed Pea Patties with Fresh Salsa
Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves 4 (2 patties each)
1 large egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 garlic cloves, minced (divided)
1 jalapeno, minced (divided)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped (divided)
7 tablespoons chopped cilantro (divided)
1/2 teaspoon salt (divided)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
Juice of half a lime
Rinse the black eyed peas and pick out any debris. Bring to a boil in 6 cups of water, then cover and simmer about 1 hour, or until tender (or follow cooking instructions on the package). Mash in a large bowl.
Add the egg, breadcrumbs, cumin, and chili powder to the bowl with the black eyed peas.
Transfer 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, half of the chopped red pepper, 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a small bowl for the salsa.
Add the remaining garlic, jalapeno, red pepper, cilantro, and salt to the bowl with the black eyed peas.
Heat two large non-stick skillets over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Thoroughly mix the black eyed pea mixture together, then form into 8 patties (I just use my hands). Cook 4 patties in each skillet for about 4 minutes per side, or until browned.
Meanwhile, complete the salsa by adding the tomatoes, avocado, and juice of half a lime to the small bowl (with the jalapeno, garlic, red pepper, cilantro, and salt). Mix together with a spoon.
Serve patties warm, topped with salsa. You could also serve them on a bun with the salsa if desired.