The easiest, fastest way to boost a simple dish? Keep a jar of flavor-packed pickle on hand. A perfect combo of sweet and sour, this chunky tomato-pepper relish, aka "pea helper," dresses up a bowl of black-eyed peas, crowder peas, lima beans--any old legume you can think of. Hence the nickname! This makes the perfect hostess gift because it's unique and versatile. And let's face it, who doesn't want their beans to be more exciting?

Vivian Howard
Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2018
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add peppers, onions, garlic, crushed red pepper and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomatoes plus all their accumulated liquid, brown sugar, vinegar and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook until reduced by half, about 2 1/2 hours.

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  • Ladle into 7 sterilized pint-size jars (see Tips). Leave about 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims with a clean cloth. Place lids and rings on the jars. Twist until just finger-tight (won't move with gentle finger pressure), but don't overtighten. If canning, process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes (see Tips). Otherwise, let cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

Tips

To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 1 month. If canned, store at room temperature for up to 1 year.

Equipment: 7 pint-size (16 oz.) canning jars with lids

Tips: Wash jars, lids and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse well; dry the bands. Place the rack in the canning pot and place the jars, right-side up, on the rack. Add enough water to cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat, but keep the jars in the hot water, covered, until ready to use.

When the recipe is ready, remove the jars from the hot water with the jar lifter, pour out any water, and place on a towel (if placed directly on a cold surface, the jars could crack). Add vegetables or pickle recipes to the jars. Use the funnel to fill jars with brine, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace and making sure the liquid covers the vegetables. Run a chopstick around the inside of the jars to release any air bubbles. Wipe the rims with a clean towel. Add lids and rings and tighten until just finger-tight (won't move with gentle pressure), but don't overtighten.

Nutrition Facts

53 calories; protein 1g; carbohydrates 10.2g; dietary fiber 1.5g; sugars 7.8g; fat 1.2g; saturated fat 0.2g; vitamin a iu 1028.7IU; vitamin c 41.6mg; folate 1.5mcg; calcium 17mg; iron 0.4mg; magnesium 11.6mg; potassium 217.6mg; sodium 109.1mg; added sugar 5g.
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Reviews

Rating: 5 stars
04/16/2021
Is there any chance that you are THE Vivian Howard whose show is one of my favorites on pbs? Either way I have to tell you I cannot wait for my Roma tomatoes to come on now. My elderly next door neighbor who died this year give me one of his long deceased wive's jars of "pea helper." I'm not sure he did not say it was his last jar. It was the first time I had ever eaten Black eyed peas that were not just plain and bland. I instantly became addicted to pea helper. I have been ordering a product from Rogers Arkansas that is similar but much sweeter. So not the same LOL! But it has been the best that I could get already made, considering this poor woman has deceased and have no way to get her recipe from her husband. Typical husband! :-) Also please keep in mind I am in North Louisiana where we value the old time recipes. Vivian if you are THE Vivian -I love you! But don't tell my husband. 52yr F! I'm going to give this five stars now even though I haven't tried it due to all of the aforementioned items. I do not expect to come back later in a few months and change my mind :-) Read More