Hoppin' John from the Meadowlark Restaurant

(1) 16-oz bag DLM Dried Black-Eyed Peas
1 cup onions, finely diced
1/2 cup carrots, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp dirty spice (see recipe for dirty spice)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup collard greens, stemmed and cut into 1-inch squares (fresh are best, but in a pinch, frozen well work)

Place peas in a heavy stockpot; pour cold water over until 2" water covers the peas. Cook over medium-low to medium heat 2 to 3 hours or until completely tender (Taste peas periodically to check for tenderness). It may be necessary to add water to the peas several times during cooking; make sure they are always covered with water.

When peas are close to tender, sauté onions, carrots, and celery in oil over medium heat until soft, but not brown. Add dirty spice, salt, and pepper and stir, cooking to release flavors of spices, about 3 minutes. Add collards and cook until they begin to wilt. Add vegetables to peas and simmer a few minutes, until flavors develop. At this point, it may be necessary to add a bit more water to give the peas some broth. Taste for seasoning and add salt and dirty spice as needed.

To serve Hoppin' John: place 1/2 cup to 1 cup cooked rice in a shallow bowl, add 1½ cups pea mixture. Drizzle a flavorful garlic oil over peas; grate mild white cheddar over top and sliced green onion and fresh tomato as desired.

Makes 6 servings

Allergy Warning: Contains milk