Though it’s past January 1st, there is still time to greet the new year with some black-eyed peas and greens. This preparation is a slightly spicier and plant-based take on stuffed cabbage rolls and makes for a flavorful side. You’re welcome to look up a homemade BBQ sauce recipe, but your favorite store-bought version should work just fine as long as it’s thick enough to coat the tops of the rolls. We’ve tried this preparation both with and without blanching the mustard greens and found that the time and effort it takes to blanch is worth it. If you have a hard time with the leaves ripping after being blanched, follow the directions for using two leaves to roll rather than just one.
- 1½ c cooked or canned black-eyed peas, drained but not rinsed with some liquid reserved
- 1 c cooked short-grain brown rice
- 8-16 large mustard green leaves, blanched and then de-stemmed
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ⅓ c BBQ sauce (thick tomato or mustard-based sauces work here, but not the thinner vinegar-based sauces)
- Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
- Set a large pot of water on to boil and salt it to taste like the sea.
- Line a cookie sheet with a dish towel.
- Set up an ice bath in a large bowl or pot to immediately cool the mustard leaves.
- Blanch the mustard greens two to three leaves at a time for 2 minutes, immediately fishing them out with a handled strainer and cooling them in the ice bath.
- Lay the leaves out carefully on the dish towel and blot dry with another dish towel.
- Remove most of the large ribs of the greens, leaving as much of the tip intact as possible. Transfer leaves to a cutting board.
- Mix the peas and rice, taste and then season with a small pinch of sea salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a spoonful of your reserved liquid. Taste and season more based on your preference. You'll need significantly less seasoning for canned peas than those that you cook from dried.
- Spoon approximately 3 TBSP of the peas and rice mixture onto either the tip of one leaf or the end of two leaves laid tip to stem to make rolling the greens easier. Carefully roll the first inch of the very tip of the leaf (or leaves) and then tuck in the sides and roll like a small burrito.
- Place your rolls seam side down in a square baking dish and brush with BBQ sauce.
- Bake for 30 minutes, covering the dish if the tops of the rolls start to brown.
- Serve immediately.