Black Eyed Peas and Spinach


  • 1 cup dry black-eyed peas

  • 30 ounces of fresh spinach

  • 1 cup chopped, flat leaf parsley

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped finely

  • 1/2 cup Greek olive oil

  • 2 cups tomato juice or homemade tomato sauce

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  1. Rinse the black-eyed peas and pick through them to remove any stones or shrivelled up peas. Soak in cold water overnight.

  2. Drain black-eyed peas. Bring pot of water to a boil and add the black-eyed peas. Lower to medium-high heat and boil for one hour. Check your pot occasionally and remove any foam which may rise to the surface of the water. After one hour, check that the black-eyed peas are fully cooked. If they are not, allow to cook a little longer until they are edible. Drain the peas and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, wash the spinach and cut off any thick or course stems.

  4. In a large pot heat the oil and add the onion. Cook over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the onion does not burn. Add the parsley to the pot and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

  5. To the pot add the spinach (the spinach will be wet from having been washed…this is fine), drained peas, tomato juice and salt and pepper. Mix well. Allow to cook, covered, over medium high heat for approximately 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.


There are many varieties of black-eyed peas available throughout the world. As we mentioned, the most common commercial variety is the California Black-eye, and that is what we use in this recipe. If you happen to come across another variety of black-eyed pea, give it a try. Apparently the different varieties, many of which are heirloom, come in various colors! In this dish, because the black-eyed peas are added to the spinach mixture after they are already cooked, if you do use a different type of black-eyed pea you may need to adjust the cooking time.

When you purchase your dried black-eyed peas try to buy them in a place with a high bean turnover. Although dried legumes don’t spoil per se, if they are very old they may take a much longer time to cook. In a pinch, you can use good quality canned black-eyed peas. Simply rinse them very well to remove all the excess salt and limit the amount of salt you will add to your meal.