- 1 tbsp vegetable oil 15 ml
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1 bulb fennel, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced on the vertical
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 tsp salt (or to taste) 2 ml
- 1⁄2 tsp cracked black peppercorns 2 ml
- 1⁄4 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground 1 ml
- (see tip)
- 1 can (14 oz/398 ml) diced tomatoes, with juice
- 2 cups drained cooked black-eyed peas 500 ml
- (see tip)
- 1 tsp paprika, (see tip)) 5 ml dissolved in 2 tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 cups chopped spinach or Swiss chard 1 L (about 1 bunch), stems removed
- In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and fennel and cook, stirring, until fennel is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, peppercorns and fennel seeds and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Transfer to a medium to large (31⁄2- to 5-quart) slow cooker. (Mixture can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days at this point.)
- Stir in peas. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until peas are tender. Stir in paprika solution. Add spinach, in batches, stirring after each to submerge the leaves in the liquid. Cover and cook on High for 20 minutes, until spinach is tender.
- Serves 4
- Tip: To prepare fennel, before removing the core, chop off the top shoots (which resemble celery) and discard. If desired, save the feathery green fronds to use as a garnish. If the outer sections of the bulb seem old and dry, peel them with a vegetable peeler before using.
- Tip: Toasting fennel seeds intensifies their flavor. To toast fennel seeds: Place in a dry skillet over medium heat and stir until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to a mortar or spice grinder and grind.
- Tip: For this quantity of peas, use 1 can (14 to 19 oz/398 to 540 ml) drained and rinsed black-eyed peas, or cook 1 cup (250 ml) dried peas.
- Tip: You can use any kind of paprika in this recipe: Regular; hot, which produces a nicely peppery version; or smoked, which adds a delicious note of smokiness. If you have regular paprika and would like a bit a heat, dissolve 1⁄4 tsp (1 ml) cayenne pepper in the lemon juice along with the paprika.
- Tip: If you choose to halve this recipe, use a small (11⁄2- to 31⁄2-quart) slow cooker.
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