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Black-Eyed Peas with Fennel

Pulses have been an important part of the Cretan diet since antiquity. Traditional dishes often pair the dried legumes with greens and herbs. The following recipe is adapted from Cretan Cooking by Maria and Nikos Psilakis (Karmanor 2000).

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 pound dried black-eyed peas

1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 pound finely chopped fennel

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 pound tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or 1 tablespoon tomato paste)

Salt and pepper to taste

Put the black-eyed peas in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a hearty simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Drain.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and saute fennel and onion until limp. Stir in tomatoes or tomato paste and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the beans, salt, pepper and water to cover. Simmer until the water is absorbed and the sauce thickens.

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