Black-eyed pea succotash


I look for food inspiration in different places: in books, magazines, online, from family, and at restaurants. I want more time to create new dishes on my own, but between a full time job, chores, and hobbies/projects (like working on a novel, for instance, and working out so I can burn off the calories I consume when I go on a baking binge), it’s hard to find time where my brain can even begin to process such a thing.

So the inspiration for this recipe comes from a restaurant, one of my absolutely favorites–Woodberry Kitchen. I’ve been meaning to write up a review for it, but sometimes words escape me–it is that awesome. Matzo can also attest to its quality…but that is for another time. Today’s recipe, though, was inspired by my last visit there with my friend Amanda.

This black-eyed pea succotash has softness and crunch, sweetness and spice, and is great by itself or as a side dish.

When we were there I ordered the roasted pork shoulder topped with a fried egg, and she got soft-shelled crabs over a bed of succotash. The crabs, of course, were fantastic, but the succotash was the real surprise. I’ve never really had it–and if I had, it’s been of the frozen or canned variety. This was neither of these. A mix of black-eyed peas, corn, celery, onion, it was crunchy and fresh with a hint of sweetness and a gentle burn of hotness.

Of course, I had to replicate it.


  • 4 cups black-eyed peas
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1.5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 3/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup celery, diced


  1. Combine black-eyed peas, corn, jalapenos, red pepper, red onion, and celery in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the rice vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey together until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in with the succotash ingredients.
  3. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Notes: If you are using fresh or dried beans, boil the beans in 6 cups of water, lightly salted, for about 30 minutes (or until they are soft but not mushy). Drain and set aside to cool. If you are using canned or frozen corn, you can just add it (thaw the frozen corn first) straight away. In my case, I’ve been using fresh corn, and in doing so I cut it off the cob and saute it in a tablespoon of butter until it’s cooked (5-8 minutes).


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