This is a vegetarian version of Hoppin’ John, the black eyed-pea dish traditionally eaten in the South on New Year’s Day to bring financial good luck. This dish is certainly good for your health.... Black-eyed pea is a good source of fiber, vitamin A and folate. The smokey taste comes from adding a dried chipotle pepper to the pea stock instead of the traditional ham hock. Add some real greens for extra value.
In a small pot, bring the basmati rice and 1½ cups of stock or water to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, remove from heat, and set aside. (See Chef Tip)
Strip the leaves from the chard, roughly chop and set aside. Dice the stems.
In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, diced chard stems and sage leaves. Sautee for 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium, sprinkle with salt, and sautee the veggies for 5 to 8 minutes, partially covered.
Add the peas, chipotle and the garlic. Stir to mix and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add the partially cooked rice. Cook another 25 to 30 minutes until the beans are soft and the rice is al dente.
Add the chopped chard, stirring it in until it has completely wilted. Cover, turn off the heat and let the Hoppin'' John stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Taste for salt, remove garlic, then serve with a grind or two of black pepper.
The recipe calls for partially cooked brown rice. If fully cooked brown rice is available in the freezer, it works just as well, simply let the beans cook for 30 minutes in step 4 before adding it to the pot.
For less spicy food, substitute the dried chipotle pepper for 1 teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika. Add it to the veggies at the end of step 3 when adding the salt. Cook for a minute before adding the peas.