No, not the musical group, the kind you eat. The bi-colored beans seem to be making a come back on the fine dining scene these days. The evidence? After never having seen a black-eyed pea in a restaurant in my entire life, I spotted them twice within a weekend in two different cities, but in remarkably similar preps. The first eating occured at an established Portuguese restaurant in Miami, Old Lisbon. The beans serve as a side dish to the resto's fabulous cod fritters (more home-madey than Jaleo's but every bit as delicious). The beans were boiled to perfection, cooled and served as a salad with a bit of green pepper, red onion, vinegar and olive oil, a refreshing counterpart to the fritters. The second eating occured over Valentine's Day at our favorite Italian restaurant in DC, Tosca. This time the peas showed up unexpectedly on a silver spoon as our amuse bouche! Talk about a bite of delicious! Our waiter accidentally brought us two of these tasty little bites by accident, not that we would have sent it back. Tosca's preparation was much the same with the addition of red wine vinegar and fresh herbs (basil and oregano, we think). This same salad also showed up under Vince's excellently cooked lamb tenderloin.
I highly reccomend seeking out these black-eyed babies for their smashing taste and high fiber content. (They'll keep you full for hours, an important factor for those trying to lose weight or Catholics trying to keep their composure on fast days like today and Good Friday!)