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Black-Eyed Pea Risotto with Bacon and Southern Greens

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 8 to 12 servings
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For Risotto:

8 ounces dried black-eyed peas, soaked and cooked

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup yellow onion, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 tablespoon seeded and diced fresh jalapeno pepper

1 teaspoon seeded and diced fresh serrano chile

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 cups Arborio rice

2 quarts chicken stock, hot

2 tablespoons butter, to finish

3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

For Southern Greens:

6 slices center cut bacon, cooked and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, reserve 2 tablespoons bacon fat

3 cups Swiss chard, (about 1 bunch) cleaned and sliced crosswise into 3/4-inch ribbons

3 cups collard greens, (about 1 bunch) cleaned and sliced crosswise into 3/4-inch ribbons

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus 1 tablespoon more for "dressing"

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil for "dressing"

1 tablespoon Parmesan

Salt and freshly cracked pepper


  1. Place peas in a pot and put enough cold water to cover beans. Soak for one hour. Then bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until fully cooked, about one hour. 
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, add onions, celery and peppers, when translucent and just starting to caramelize, add in garlic and saute briefly, add in rice and saute, stirring frequently to coat kernels with the oil for 2 minutes. Slowly start adding in the hot chicken stock 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly on medium-low heat. Continue this method until chicken stock remaining is about 1 cup and check for the consistency of the rice. It should be creamy with a tiny bit of resistance to the grain. Turn off heat, drain peas well, and slowly fold into risotto, adding the 2 tablespoons of remaining butter, Parmesan and salt and pepper, to taste. If risotto is too thick, gently stir in the remaining chicken stock to desired consistency. 
  3. Heat reserved bacon fat in a saute pan, stir in greens, allowing them to wilt, when almost wilted, add in 4 tablespoons vinegar, when wilted, add in bacon, zest and salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Place risotto on serving plate(s) and top with the Southern Greens, dress with reserved tablespoon of vinegar and the extra-virgin olive oil. Garnish with a sprinkle of Parmesan.