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Lucky Lemon Black-Eyed Peas

by Linda Watson of Cook for Good from her upcoming book, Wildly Affordable Vegan. Legend has it that eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day brings luck. Who couldn't use some luck year round? Some years, I make this dish for my birthday in March. It's quick to make but rich in flavor layers. A bay leaf enhances the earthiness of the black-eyed peas. Walnuts add creamy umami to the bright sauce. Serve Lucky Lemon Black-Eyed Peas over hot cooked quinoa, rice, or cornbread. For a fat-free version, skip the olive oil. You'll have some extra sauce to serve over baked potatoes or roasted vegetables. Why? The blender or food processor needs enough material to get a grip. Also, a key Cook for Good tenet is to cook once and enjoy twice.


  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas 2 generous cups
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • water to cover
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup walnut pieces
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice juice from one medium lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • handful of fresh parsley leaves and stems about ¾ cup
  • ¼ cup broth from cooked black-eyed peas
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste


  • Pick through black-eyed peas to remove any stones or stems. Rinse well. Put in a medium pot with bay leaf, salt, and enough water to cover by two inches. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low so water barely boils and cook until tender, about 90 minutes.
  • When the black-eyed peas are done, drop peeled garlic clove into a blender or food processor running on high. Set aside a few parsley leaves for garnish. Add remaining ingredients and blend on high until smooth.
  • Drain black-eyed peas. Stir in ¼ cup sauce. Ladle peas over hot quinoa, rice, or cornbread or just dish them into a bowl if you like. Drizzle with remaining sauce and top with parsley leaves.