Hot, fresh corn bread dripping in butter is always a good accompaniment.
- 1 large bunch kale
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, cut into small dice (3/4 to 1 cup)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into small dice (scant 1 cup)
- 2 small jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced (2 1/2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- Leaves from 3 or 4 sprigs thyme leaves (1 tablespoon; may substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cups frozen black-eyed peas (may substitute canned organic black-eyed peas, such as Eden brand)
- 3 cups cooked rice, preferably basmati
Remove the tough ribs and stems from the kale leaves; coarsely chop the leaves to yield 6 to 8 cups, then rinse and drain.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, then the onion. Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and softened.
Add the garlic, red bell pepper and jalapeno peppers. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times, then add the smoked paprika and thyme. Mix well to ensure that the spices and herbs are well incorporated.
Add the kale in batches, letting it soften a bit between additions. Cook until all the kale has wilted and has been well combined. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the vegetable broth, bay leaves and the black-eyed peas; mix well and cover the skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook (covered) for about 10 minutes, until the kale and black-eyed peas are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Discard the bay leaves.
Divide the cooked rice among individual plates. Spoon the vegetable mixture on top. Serve hot.
From Cynthia Brown, assistant director of Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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