Sunday, January 01, 2012

Vegetarian Hoppin' John

I don't have a southern bone in my body, but I do like the tradition (and taste) of eating hoppin' john on New Year's Day.  I've always had it with ham or bacon (or both) but I've been cutting back on meat so I thought I'd do a little improvisation. I put in a little smoked paprika to give some depth to the flavor. I also remembered that a restaurant I really like down in Lexington (Alfafa's) tops their vegetarian hoppin' john with sharp white cheddar cheese so I crumbled up a bit I had in the fridge, too.

It turned out really well--I'm thinking that I might make another batch and freeze individual portions because nuking a bowl of it would make for a fast, tasty and healthy lunch.

Vegetarian Hoppin' John

1 C dried black-eyed peas or yellow-eyed beans*
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 t dried thyme
1 t smoked paprika
1 C rice
1 small red pepper, diced
2 C vegetable broth
2-3 scallions, chopped
1/2 C sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded or crumbled
hot sauce

Cook your peas or beans. Either soak overnight in water, change the water, bring to a boil and simmer until tender, or do a fast soak (pour over boiling water and wait an hour before proceeding). If you think of it, chuck a couple of extra garlic cloves into the cooking water. Drain off all but about a cup of cooking liquid.

In a medium pot, heat the oil and add the onion. After about a minute, add the garlic, celery, thyme and smoked paprika. Saute for a couple of more minutes to soften. Add the rice and give it a good stir to coat the grains in oil.  Then add the red pepper, peas/beans and cooking liquid, and veg broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then slap on a lid, turn on low and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Give the pot a good stir, then dish it out. Top each portion with some chopped scallions and a sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese. Let people add their own hot sauce.

* I hear that you can also make this without the pesky soaking/cooking beans step by using frozen black-eyed peas, in which you just chuck them in with a little extra water or broth with the rice. I've never tried it though since I have enough dried beans in the house to last us through an apocalypse in relative beany comfort.

1 comment:

kathy said...


Good Day,interesting post keep the good work.i'll be back for more