Originally posted in Feb. 2015, I reshot and added measurements in grams to this recipe March, 2017, because the images were in serious need of updating! Cozy, one pot Black Eyed Pea Sweet Potato Cornbread Pot Pie is pure comfort food during the coldest parts of the year. Vegetarian, optionally dairy free.
I know y’all’ve Spring on the brain.. and I do too. But, comfort food still calls and this pot pie recipe appeals to my Southern roots. Black eyed peas were a childhood favorite, especially on New Years Day, because they represent good luck in the New Year. My Ma always had a big crock-pot going. Smelling the aroma wafting through the house all day was like what a kid waiting in line at the ice cream shop endures.
All four of us kids were a fan of her black eyed peas. Ma served a generous helping of cornbread and butter with the peas; good for sopping every last drop of broth. Now I eat black eyed peas throughout the year not only because they’re delicious, but also nutrient dense.
Sweet potatoes, chard and caramelized onions round out the bulk of this pot pie. It’s a comforting combination of flavors with a good balance of sweet and spicy. The cornbread crust is as Southern as my Ma with a little bit of sweetness sprinkled in for good measure; just like her.
Black Eyed Pea Sweet Potato Cornbread Pot Pie is a crowd pleaser, freezes well and makes delicious leftovers. And while there are several steps in the cooking process, it is made in one pot for quick service and clean up.
Don’t forget a few glugs of Tabasco! Jalapeños are a welcome addition as well if you’re into spicy things.
Beyond this cozy pot pie, I have some sad news to share with y’all about our community. Y’all know how much local farms mean to me. Supporting their work provides incredible benefit not only to me and my family, but also to our surrounding and extended communities.
The work these farmers do is hard, yet we barely blink an eye when we pick up a head of lettuce or admire the color of an eggplant. These things are abundant and always there for us, stocked in our grocery stores.
It’s easy to take for granted what farmers provide and the relative inexpensive prices they provide it to us.
One of our local farms, Willowood Farm, a 4th generation farm, is an icon on Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve.
The Smith barn of Willowood Farm, built in the late 1800’s, has been in the Smith family since. It’s a huge barn, a one-and-a-half story 100′ x 72′ structure with a large lean-to added in the mid 1900’s. Farmer Georgie grew up on this farm then left for a career only to move back in the early 1990’s to work the land. She, her family and crew have been farming 12 acres since.
Willowood Farm grows more than 200 varieties of vegetables, growing and producing almost year round.
They provide heirloom, and organically raised produce locally through CSAs, farmers markets and farm stands and deliver their produce as far south as Seattle to some of Seattle’s best restaurants.
It was because of Farmer Georgie I experienced my first purple potato, pink cauliflower and came to love garlic scapes.
This week there was very sad news in our community regarding the Smith barn.
It burned to the ground Monday night.
The barn was a hub for the farm, housing equipment, used for storage, packing and planning. Everything from harvesting knives, seeds, farm implements, a delivery van, coolers to store vegetables, farm baskets and so much more… all of it, gone.
While this is a tremendous loss for Farmer Georgie, her familiy and our community, our community is showing support for the Smith family and their farm. Already there’s been a Never Finished Farming Go Fund Me site opened to benefit Willowood Farm.
I know many of Vanilla And Bean readers have visited Whidbey Island and Ebey’s Landing… you may have even visited Willowood farm at one of its events. I hope you’ll consider reading about Willowood Farm, and Georgie’s thoughts (scroll down) on the fire and where to go from here, in her own words. It’s opened my eyes to some of the precarious issues small farms face.
***UPDATE*** To read more about the barn, the fire, and this beautiful commuity that’s coming together to support Georgie and Willowood Farm after this tragedy, Georgie has a blog she’s updating. What an inspiration!
Remember, it’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) season. Be sure to check Local Harvest for your nearest farm and support your local farmer.
Black Eyed Pea Sweet Potato Cornbread Pot Pie
Southern comfort food at its best, this pot pie is packed with caramelized onions, sweet potatoes, black eye peas, chard, bell pepper, and herbs, topped with a sweet cornbread crust. Perfect for a cold winter's night. Vegetarian (dairy free option).
For the Filling:
- 2 Tbs Coconut Oil unrefined virgin cold-pressed, melted
- 4 C (310g) Purple Onions sliced into 1/2 moons (about 3 large onions)
- 3/4 tsp Sea Salt divided
- 1 1/2 C (180g) Red Bell Pepper seeded and medium dice (about 1 large pepper)
- 1/4 C (40g) All Purpose Flour
- 5 C (1.1kg) Vegetable Broth
- 2 Tbs Tomato Paste
- 4 Cloves Garlic minced
- 1/2 C (85g) Dried Black Eyed Peas rinsed and sorted
- 2 Springs of Herbs Each: Thyme, Sage, Rosemary tied together with cooking twine
- 2 Tbs Dijon Mustard
- 4 C (120g) Swiss or Rainbow Chard ribboned, chopped and packed for measure
- 3 C (315g) Sweet Potato peeled and diced into 1/2" cubes (about 1 medium or 1 lb)
- 1 1/2 tsp Tabasco
- 10 grinds of pepper
For the Cornbread Crust:
For the Filling:
In a 3 or 4 quart dutch oven (I use 3 qt but have a bit of spill over while baking), add the coconut oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onions and 1/4 tsp salt. Caramelize the onions on medium low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use this cook time to prep the remaining veggies.
Add the bell pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes just to soften. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and pepper and stir to coat. Stir in the broth, tomato paste, garlic, dry black eyed peas and herb sprigs. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
Fish out the herb sprigs and discard. Add the potatoes and mustard, stir and cook for 15 minutes or until just fork tender. While the potatoes are cooking preheat the oven to 425F and prepare the cornbread crust.
To the filling, add the chard and Tobasco. Stir in and cook until just wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Remove filling from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning and/or heat.
For the Cornbread Crust:
In a mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together: flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. To the dry ingredients add the milk, whisked egg and melted butter. Stir until all ingredients are just incorporated.
To Assemble and Bake:
Using a large #20 cookie scoop or 3 Tbs, drop scoop-fulls of cornbread on top of the filling. Fill in the gaps, with smaller scoops as needed until all the cornbread mixture is used up. There will be some gaps on top of the pot pie. This is okay, as those gaps will fill in as the pot pie bakes. Sprinkle top with chopped sage.
Set the pot pie on a parchment or silpat lined sheet pan (to catch any spill over) and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until top is set and slightly golden.
Freezes well in individual portion sized containers. Thaw in fridge overnight, then bake at 350F for about 15 minutes to rewarm.
Adapted from Vegetarian Times.