The Black eyed bean, or Black eyed pea, is gorgeously pale colored with a prominent black spot around the eye. They taste savory but sweet and their sturdy skin keeps them intact when cooking. The centre becomes nice and creamy though. You can use this bean in many ways as is demonstrated by the various regional recipes it is used in accross the globe. In the South of the United States of America the Black eyed bean is traditionally eaten on New Years day in a recipe called Hoppin' John, to bring prosperity to the new year. For Hoppin' John, Black eyed beans are combined with rice, bacon or ham hock, onions and vegetables. This little beauties are also perfect for soups or beautiful salads.
Soak the beans in cold water for approximately 8 hours. Rinse them. Put them in a pan in cold water and bring to the boil, without adding salt. Simmer the beans gently in 1 to 2 hours until cooked, while checking occasionally for tenderness and to inspect if there is still enough water in the pan.
When you keep them in a dark and dry place they keep very well for at least one year.
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