New Year’s Day Black Eyed Pea and Collard Green Salad with Cornbread Croutons

Georgia Grown

  • 6 cups collard greens, washed, stems removed, cut in thin strips
  • ¼ cup sunflower oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 ounces country ham, cut in thin strips
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup cooked black-eyed peas (keep warm)
  • Cornbread croutons (see recipe below) or substitute croutons of your choice

Place collard greens in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon sunflower oil and a pinch of salt. Massage collard greens with hands to soften and break down fibers. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a skillet over high heat. Add country ham to the hot skillet and cook until crisp. Remove the ham from the skillet, leaving the grease in the pan. Add cider vinegar to the skillet, stirring to deglaze. Pour the grease-vinegar mixture from the skillet over collard greens, then toss to evenly coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer greens to a serving bowl, top with warm black-eyed peas, country ham and croutons. Serve immediately, with cornbread on the side. Serves 6.

Cornbread Croutons
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a 9-inch-square baking pan with 3 tablespoons of shortening and place it in the oven as the oven warms up.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together cornmeal and self-rising flour. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk. Combine wet and dry ingredients, mixing. Pour hot shortening from baking pan into batter, mixing quickly. Pour batter into the hot pan. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Cool slightly then cut out one quarter of the cornbread and cut that section into 1-inch squares. (Reserve the remaining cornbread to serve with the salad.)

Decrease the oven temperature to 200 degrees. Add the cornbread croutons to a large bowl. Drizzle with the sunflower oil and toss gently to coat. Spread the croutons on a baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes, until slightly crispy.