How to Cook Fresh Black Eyed Peas

By Megan Smith

Fresh black eyed peas are a staple of summertime menus in many areas, especially the Southern United States. You can prepare black eyed peas many different ways, but they are best when cooked with a pork product and paired with other summertime favorites, like tomatoes and hot corn bread. Cooking fresh black eyed peas is easy when you follow a time-honored and classic Southern recipe.

black eyed beans
credit: black eyed beans image by Martin Garnham from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>
Prepare fresh black eyed peas for a summer side dish.

Step 1

Shell your black eyed peas until you have about 1 lb. of peas.

Step 2

Sift through the peas and discard any that are mashed, have black spots on them or are shriveled.

Step 3

Place the peas into a colander and spray water over them while tossing them about with your fingers. Continue until you no longer feel or see sand or other debris.

Step 4

Place your ham hocks or salt pork in a large pot and cover with about a quart of water. Put the lid on top of the pot and place it on the stove. Boil the pork product for about half an hour.

Step 5

Add the black eyed peas to the pot of boiling water with the pork.

Step 6

Reduce the heat and let the peas simmer until they are tender, about an hour and a half.

Step 7

The pork product will likely add enough salt to the dish, but taste about halfway through cooking the peas to make sure they don't need more salt.