This year I made my usual Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day (you can find the recipe here), but I also wanted to break from tradition, so, the next day, I stuffed several steamed collard leaves with some of the Hoppin’ John — kind of like stuffed cabbage, Southern-style.
In anticipation, I had made a double batch of Hoppin’ John and bought extra collards, reserving several of the cooked leaves to use for stuffing. Since the ingredients were prepared ahead of time, it was a simple matter to stuff and roll the collards. I arranged them in a shallow baking dish and poured a small amount of vegetable broth over them. I then covered them with foil and baked them until hot.
Served with vegan sour cream, Tabasco, and a side of applesauce, the stuffed leaves have a wonderful flavor and they also make a gorgeous presentation. Those beautiful flat leaves are so much easier to work with than cabbage leaves — and much prettier too. I think these Hoppin’ John Stuffed Collards will be in a regular menu rotation throughout 2010.
Sometimes, I cook the black-eyed peas from scratch and use fresh collards. Other times, when I’m too busy to cook, I make a quick version using canned black-eyed peas and frozen chopped collards. Either way, it makes a satisfying dinner and the leftovers are even better the next day.
The collard greens are traditionally served on the side, but I like to cook them, chop them, and stir them right into the Hoppin’ John. A splash of Liquid Smoke adds a nice smoky nuance. I serve my Hoppin’ John in bowls with the vegan sour cream and a bottle of Tabasco at the table so you can add as much of either or both as you like.
Here’s my quick and easy version for you to try — but don’t wait until next New Year’s Day. It’s good enough to eat any day of the year.
Hoppin’ John with Collards
Use fresh or frozen collard greens for this recipe. If unavailable, substitute kale or other dark greens.
1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 cups water or vegetable broth
3 cups cooked or 2 (16-ounce) cans black-eyed peas
3 cups chopped cooked collard greens
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegan sour cream, to serve
Tabasco sauce, to serve
2. About 15 minutes into the cooking of the rice, stir in the black-eyed peas.
3. When the rice is cooked, stir in the cooked chopped collards, Liquid Smoke, and black pepper. Add more salt, if needed.
4. To serve, spoon into bowls and accompany with vegan sour cream and Tabasco sauce at the table.