Southern Zipper Peas, Please!

Jan 1 2014

by Susan Benton 30AEATS

zipper peas

These fresh peas came from Bailey’s in Pensacola. Named zipper peas for the way the pod opens when the fibrous strand down its center is pulled, these peas are grown primarily in the Southern states due to the warm climate. Freshly picked from their pods, zipper peas have a mild-flavor, are a great source of protein and a classic Southern comfort food. I make them often and enhance the flavor of the peas by using smoky bacon or a ham hock, chicken broth instead of water, and vegetables. Serve over a heaping mound of rice and top with a pat of real unsalted butter and you are in business! Use the recipe below for most any type of fresh or dried legumes, including those ever popular Black Eyed Peas that will be on most menu’s today!

Wishing Everyone A Happy New Year!

Zipper Peas


1 tbsp. good olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cups fresh washed Southern peas
(such as zipper creams, black-eyeds,
or butter beans)
2 1⁄2 cups low-sodium Chicken Stock
1 small smoked ham hock
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups cooked rice, salted to taste
4 pats unsalted butter

pot of zipper peas


1. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the peas, stock, and ham hock. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender and creamy, about 1 hour. (The time depends on the type and size of the peas.) Skim foam off top that accumulates and discard.

3. Remove ham hock, slice meat from bone, and chop; return meat to pan. Season peas with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Serve over rice and top with a pat of butter

bowl of peas


Susan Benton 30AEATS View More Blog Posts from this Author

As a culinary enthusiast and entrepreneur living along Hwy 30A on the Gulf Coast,, founded by Susan Benton, was born during the 2011 BP oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. Many like herself worried about the health of our Gulf, it’s inhabitants, our own safety, seafood and its sustainability. As a mother, food and travel writer, and mixed media artist who is passionate about my community, Susan decided to create a website to share with readers the people behind our food, where good food comes from, and where it could be found. Her goal is to help others discover the flavors unique to our region, so that they in turn will support the people that feed us, invest in it and themselves, and buy local products.

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