Black-eyed peas were first introduced to Virginia during the 17th century. Grown throughout Asia and West Africa, black-eyed peas favor warm climates, and are extremely tolerant to drought. Thus, crops of black-eyed peas proliferated throughout the Southern United States, and to this day, continue to play an important role in soul food and in Southern cuisine.
Today’s recipe blends common elements in the US’s Southern cuisine into a beautiful, rustic galette. A lightly sweetened cornmeal crust holds smokey mashed sweet potatoes and well-seasoned mustard greens with black-eyed peas stewed in a broth of jalapeño, garlic, ginger, and dried prune. The elegant French galette meets the hearty, rich flavors of the US’s Southern cuisine. And it’s incredibly delicious.
While I used mustard greens in this recipe, you are welcome to use collards or kale. As a variation, use pinto beans in place of black-eyed peas, or skip the black-eyed peas and greens and layer toasted chopped pecans over the smokey sweet potato filling, instead. This recipe could also easily be made gluten-free by swapping out the all-purpose flour for gluten-free flour (In the past, I’ve used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour).
Vegan Southern Cornmeal Galette
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup cornmeal
¼ cup turbinado sugar
½ tsp salt
8 Tbsp vegan butter (cut into 1 Tbsp chunks)
⅓ cup very cold water
1 large sweet potato, baked with skin removed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
½ jalapeño, finely chopped (omit or remove seeds, if sensitive to heat)
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 dried prune, finely chopped
2 ½ cups mustard greens (collards or kale also work well)
¾ cup broth (fake chicken or vegetable)
15 ounce can of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
½-1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp liquid smoke
1-1 ½ tsp agave (or honey)
Salt, to taste
1. Add flour, cornmeal, turbinado sugar, salt, and vegan butter to a mixing bowl. Using your hands or a fork, mix the butter into the rest of the mixture. It should look a bit like sand.
2. Add very cold water and knead into a ball. Add a tiny bit more water if too dry or a little bit more flour if too wet. Try not to overknead.
3. Wrap in plastic wrap, and put in the refridgerator for 30 minutes.
4. In a large, heavy pot or dutch oven, sauté onion, garlic, jalapeño, ginger and dried prune in olive oil until onion is transparent (~7 minutes).
5. Stir in greens, broth, smoked paprika and black-eyed peas. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. When it finishes simmering, stir in lemon juice, remove from heat and allow it to cool down.
6. In a mixing bowl, add baked sweet potato, liquid smoke, and agave (or honey). Smash with a fork. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
7. On a floured surface, roll out chilled cornmeal dough until it’s about ¼ inch thick. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Transfer cornmeal dough to the cookie sheet.
8. Layer smokey sweet potato filling in a circle. Drain excess liquid from the greens and black-eyed peas, then layer over the top of the sweet potato. Leave ample room on all sides.
9. Fold over crust to form galette. Bake at 400 F for 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.