Happy New Year to You and Yours! I can’t believe it’s 2016. New Years has always been a celebration in my family. My brother, sister, and cousins used to all meet up at my grandparents in Santa Clara and run wild while on break. We would get there sometime around Christmas and leave after the New Year. My grandparents are some of the most important people in my life. I was that teenager who used to hang out with them on the weekends instead of with my friends. I could get lost there, listening to their stories and looking through old things that they collected over the years.
My grandma knew how to throw a party and she was destined to teach all her grandchildren the same. I loved to drive to the store every year in her van, listening to old tunes on the radio, and driving through the warm California January with the windows down. There is nothing better than the smell of fresh dew in the valley and the warm sun burning off the Bay Area fog. Once there, we would shop for our favorite supplies: party hats, streamers, over-the-door banners, party poppers, and so much more. I loved putting together the party with her, from the menu to the decorations.
She was adamant about food traditions: black eyed peas and grapes for good luck. I can still see all of us huddled in the living room drinking champagne and celebrating the New Year. If you weren’t careful, she would toss grapes at you OR you would find yourself slumped over a bowl of black eyed peas the next day. Sure, they have an earthy flavor that I’m into every now and again, but most times I can’t be bothered. I would always avoid the piece of ham hock lurking in the bottom.
I think she partied harder than I do in my 20s. I’m still working on achieving the same level of ‘cool’ she still carries with her today. Either way, I have her food traditions. I love and miss her every day that I’m away from California, but hope that I will have an ounce of the creativity, vitality, and spunk that she’s carried throughout her life. Instead of making the traditional black eyed oakie beans, I opted for something a little lighter and fresher. I think she would approve of my repurposing of the black eyed peas tradition and my great grandma would appreciate the Texas Caviar as a nod to her birth state. Southern blood runs deep in my California family. This recipe for black eyed peas hummus and Texas caviar features grape seed oil to try to take advantage of all the best luck in 2016.
Wherever you were last night and are today, I hope you have a moment to reflect on the year behind you and set your intentions for the year ahead. I’m happy to be here on this earth another year and setting my intention to show up for the tough moments, celebrate the joyous ones, and make memories that I’ll be writing about 10 years from now.
Happy New Year!
Black Eyed Pea Hummus & Texas Caviar
Prep Time: 45 min | Serves: 6
Black Eyed Pea Hummus Recipe
1 1/2 cups black eyed peas, drained
1 tsp baking soda
6 cups water
4 tbs cold water
3 shallots, sliced
1 head of garlic, minced
2 tbs tahini
2 tbs lemon juice
3 radish greens*
1 tbs hemp seeds
pinch of salt
drizzle of grape seed oil
- Drain and rinse two cans of black eyed peas under cold water. In a large pot, mix together 1 1/2 cups black eyed peas (set remaining aside) and baking soda. Stir over low heat for 3 minutes. Pour in 6 cups of cold water and simmer for 20-30 min. until black eyed peas are tender. Once they’re done, you’ll be able to squish them between your thumb and forefinger. Drain the beans once they are done.
- While the black eyed peas are simmering, sauté shallots and garlic in a non-stick pan or cast iron skillet for 3 minutes or until translucent.
- In a food processor, place cooked black eyed peas, sautéed shallots, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, radish greens, hemp seeds, and salt. Whir around on high until smooth and creamy.
This recipe was adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tammi’s Basic Hummus!
Texas Caviar Recipe
1/2 cup black eyed peas, drained
2 shallots, finely chopped*
1/2 cup radishes, finely chopped (reserve the greens for the hummus)
1/2 cup green pepper, fine;y chopped
1/2 cup yellow pepper, fine;y chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbs lemon juice
pinch of salt
- Gently mix together 1/2 cup remaining drained black eyed peas, chopped shallots, radishes, and green and yellow pepper. Toss with cilantro, lemon juice and salt. You can also add a pinch of chile powder or smoked paprika for a kick!
- Place on top of black eyed pea hummus & serve with flax chips or warm bread!