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Hop ‘n John (Good Luck Pea Dish)

Posted by Peggy on January 1, 2010

Hop 'n John (Good Luck Pea Dish)
Recipe: Hop 'n John (Good Luck Pea Dish)


  • 1 pound (2 1/2 cups) dry black eyed peas or Sea Island Red Peas
  • 6 pieces raw bacon, chopped (fat reserved)
  • 1 small white onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sugar as needed (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 small red bell pepper, membranes removed and diced
  • 1 small orange or yellow bell pepper, membranes removed and diced
  • 4 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped
  • Hot pepper vinegar Pepper Vinegar*


  1. Rinse dry peas, picking out and discarding cracked or yellowed. Soak 6-8 hours, refrigerated, in 8 cups cold water.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet or sauté pan, fry bacon until crispy, reserving fat. Drain on paper towels and reserve.
  3. Transfer bacon fat to a large pot. Over medium heat, sauté onion and celery in fat 3-4 minutes, or until just tender and fragrant. Add soaked peas, 6 cups of water and bay leaf to pot, with a pinch of sugar, if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, with lid slightly ajar, until peas are almost tender, 45-75 minutes, depending on heat and pea used. Turn off heat, cover pot, and let peas sit in cooking liquid 1-2 hours until tender and creamy, but not overly soft and mushy. Drain.
  4. Whisk together oil and  vinegar. Discard bay leaf from peas and toss peas with cider vinaigrette, peppers, scallions and reserved bacon. Season to taste with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and pepper vinegar. If desired, add a pinch of additional sugar, to balance the acidity.

*If not available in your area, season peas with 2-4 tablespoons finely chopped hot pepper, such as jalapeno, and 2-4 tablespoons cider vinegar.

Soak Time: 6-8 hours

Simmer Time: 45-75  minutes, depending on heat and pea used

Rest Time: 1 hour

Active Time: 25 minutes

Yield: apx. 8 cups (without rice)

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