This Southern dish can be traced back to the African practice of cooking peas and rice together for a hearty meal. In this version of Hoppin’ John, we used andouille sausage to pump up the protein (and flavor).
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and okra; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 2 minutes. Remove to a plate; cover to keep warm. Add the celery, bell pepper and scallion whites to the skillet. Cover and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
Uncover the skillet; stir in the garlic, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the rice and stir to coat. Stir in the black-eyed peas and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, 5 minutes.
Fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the sausage-okra mixture, the tomatoes and scallion greens.