It’s tax day and your friends at the IRS have determined you haven’t given enough. Poof – there goes the little extra cash you’d been setting aside for that much needed vacation to Kansas! It’s time to tighten the belt, scrutinize the household budget and start saving (again). Starting with the food bill. Rice and beans have sustained generations of budget-watching diners around the world for just pennies a plate. And there’s another reason this dish, often called Hoppin’ John, suits tax day, though it’s traditionally served for luck on New Year’s: The greens are said to symbolize bills and the peas to look like coins. Here’s hoping that next year the tables are turned and the IRS owes you money.

Serves 4

Recipe lightly adapted from Cooking Light

2 slices smoked bacon

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (1-pound) bag frozen black-eyed peas

1 (12-ounce) bunch fresh turnip greens, trimmed and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons pepper vinegar

2 cups cooked rice for serving

Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving the drippings in the pan. Crumble and set aside.

Add the onion to the drippings. Sauté about 4 minutes over medium-low heat until the onion is soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in broth, 2 cups water, salt, pepper, peas and greens and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer about 55 minutes until the greens are tender and the flavors nicely melded, stirring occasionally and skimming as necessary. Stir in the vinegar. Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary. Divvy up the rice and black-eyed pea and greens mixture among 4 bowls and top with crumbled bacon.


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