I’ve long been a fan of the BlueZone books. And of their recipes! This Longevity Ikarian Stew is one of my favorites. A savory pot of stew infused with the flavors of Ikaria, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, 10 nautical miles southwest of Samos.
A simple dish with simple ingredients, drizzled with olive oil. A dish that BlueZone authors believe contributes to the incredible longevity of Ikarian residents.
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This stew calls for dried black-eyed peas. You can save time by swapping frozen black-eyes peas or 4 cups canned. I’ve only made this stew with dried and would assume canned may change the texture a bit. Yet if time is a factor, by using canned, this stew will simmer a mere 25 minutes.
The BlueZone notes, “Today, Ikarians are almost entirely free of dementia and some of the chronic diseases that plague Americans; one in three make it to their 90s. A combination of factors explain it, including geography, culture, diet, lifestyle and outlook. They enjoy strong red wine, late-night domino games and relaxed pace of life that ignores clocks. Clean air, warm breezes and rugged terrain draw them outdoors into an active lifestyle.”
7 “recipes” for longevity as practiced by the Ikarians:1. Drink some goat’s milk. 2. Mimic mountain living. 3. Eat a Meditarrean style diet. 4. Stock up on herbal teas. 5. Nap. 6. Fast occasionally. 7. Make family and friends a priority.
Longevity Ikarian Stew with Black Eyed Peas and KalePrint
Longevity Ikarian Stew with Black Eyed Peas and Kale
- 2 cups dried black-eyed peas
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large yellow or white onion, diced (about 1½ cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup carrots, chopped (about 3 large)
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 large kale leaves, slivered
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
Sort black-eyed peas and remove any damaged peas, stones, or debris.
Add peas to a large pot, cover with cold water 2 inches above the peas. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Cover and remove heat and allow to soak for 1 hour. Drain peas and set aside.
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 20-30 seconds. Stir in the black-eyed peas, carrots, tomato, tomato paste, bay leaves and salt. Stir until tomato paste dissolves. Add enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the black-eyed peas are tender, about 50 minutes. Stir in kale and dill. Cover and cook until the kale is tender, 5-10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Ladle into four bowls. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on top of each serving.
To cut cooking time, you can substitute canned or frozen black-eyed peas. The original recipe from BlueZones calls for 1 fennel bulb, sliced, to be added along with the onion. I’m not always able to find it, so I’ve eliminated it from the recipe. But it makes a wonderful addition.