Greek Salad with Orzo and Black Eyed Peas

-Cook ¾ cup orzo according to package instructions.

-Drain in a sieve and then rinse under cold water until cool. Drain well.

-Peel 2 cucumbers, than cut them in half the long way and seed.

-Chop each half into 4 pieces the long way, then chop into small chunks.

-Place in a strainer, add a large pinch of salt and toss, letting the cucumbers drain over the sink until you need them.

-Rinse and drain 1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas.

-In a large bowl, toss black-eyed peas with the following:

2 diced tomatoes or ½ basket of Sungold cherry tomatoes

2 TBS red-wine or Balsamic vinegar

1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper

-Marinate, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.

-Rinse the cucumbers well and then set aside and let drip dry a little.

-In a large bowl, toss together the cooked orzo and drained cucumbers.

-Add in the following and stir well:

2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup pitted and slivered Kalamata olives

3 cloves of chopped garlic

1 tsp lemon zest

2 TBS fresh lemon juice

A pinch of dried oregano

1/4 sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper

-Serve the 2 salads layered on top of each other with some crumbled feta cheese.

Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens

-Pick through ½ pound of dried black-eyed peas.

-Place the black-eyed peas in a large saucepan, cover with water by two inches, bring to a boil and then drain. Leave the peas in the saucepan.

-Chop up 2 garlic cloves.

-Combine the beans in the saucepan with the garlic cloves.

-Add water to cover by two inches, and bring back to a simmer.

-Add 1 bay leaf and reduce the heat.

-Add salt to taste, cover and simmer 30 minutes, until the beans are just tender.

-Drain through a strainer set over a bowl.

-Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

-Cut 1 leek in half the long way. Wash thoroughly between the layers, then chop into thin pieces.

-In a large, oven-proof lidded skillet or Dutch oven, heat 2 TBS of olive oil over medium heat and add the leek.

-Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes and add another clove of chopped garlic.

-Stir together for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant. A handful at a time, stir in the greens. As the greens wilt, stir in another handful, until all the greens have been added and have collapsed in the pan.

-Dissolve 2 TBS tomato paste into ½ cup warm water.

-Add the dissolved tomato paste to the greens and stir together. Add salt to taste.

-Add the beans and enough cooking liquid to barely cover everything, cover and place in the oven for 30 minutes, until the collards are tender and the beans very soft.

-Uncover the pot and add a bit of liquid if the beans are dry.

-Stir in the 1 TBS of olive oil, cover and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.

-Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve warm or hot.

-If you wish, top with crumbled feta or a squeeze of lemon.