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Blackened Salmon with Peas and Greens

Cook Time:
15 mins
Prep Time:
5 mins

Chef notes

I love this dish because takes me back to my grandmother's kitchen. Black-eyed peas were one of the first things she taught me how to cook at six years old. I love using salmon with the peas and greens, because the fattiness of the salmon cuts through the spice and goes nicely with the slight sweetness of the coconut milk. The spices used in the recipe honor the enslaved cooks from Charleston who used the same ones.

Technique tips: You can use dried herbs in place of fresh, just use 1/3 less. To cut the greens, stack leaves on top of one another, roll tightly, and slice into thin ribbons.

Swap option: You could use berbere (Ethiopian spice blend) in place of making blackening spice. It can be purchased in some groceries stores or can be made from scratch. You can also purchase a pre-made Cajun or blackening spice mix as well. Sea Island red peas could be used in place of black-eyed peas.


Peas and Greens
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic, 2 whole and 2 finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 2 bunches collard greens, bottom stems removed, chopped
Blackened Salmon
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme, washed, leaves removed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 (6- to 7-ounce) pieces salmon, pin bones removed, skin-on
  • 3-4 tablespoons canola oil


For the peas and greens:


Drain peas, and in a 4-quart saucepan, combine with water to cover by 2 inches. Add thyme, 2 whole garlic cloves and a generous amount of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, about 30 to 40 minutes


When peas are cooked, drain well, discarding garlic cloves and thyme sprigs. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid and set aside.


In a wide, heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-low; add the onion and cook until tender, about 8 minutes, then add ginger, chopped garlic, red pepper flakes and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.


Add the curry powder and turmeric and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.


Add the tomatoes, stock, coconut milk and reserved cooking liquid to pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the sauce thickens a bit, about 10 to 15 minutes.


Fold greens into peas and remove pot from stove (greens will cook from the residual heat).


Add the peas to the sauce and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the peas are lightly coated, about 10 minutes or until peas are warmed through. Adjust seasonings to taste.

For the blackened salmon:


In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano and salt. Put the mixture on a plate or other flat surface and coat the portions of salmon, 1 at a time, flesh side only.


Heat a large heavy-bottomed or cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil begins to smoke quite heavily. turn off your heat.


Add the pieces of salmon, 1 at a time, in a single layer, flesh-side down, in the oil.


Turn the heat back on under the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Use a spatula to turn the salmon to the other side. Cook the salmon over medium heat, until the skin becomes crispy, about 5 to 6 minutes.


When the pieces of salmon are done, place the peas and greens mixture in four plates. Add the pieces of salmon to each plate and serve.