• COOK TIME | 1 HR 20 MINS

My husband’s family is Latvian. We recently visited this charming and resilient country and were served this savory and delicious dish. A traditional Latvian recipe, it is served during Christmastime and is said to bring good luck in the coming year. The gray peas have a wonderfully nutty flavor and a slightly chewy texture, and the addition of caramelized onion and bacon are undeniably delicious. This is an ultimate comfort food dish.

Double Duty Recipe: These peas can be used as a side dish or a main dish. Serve warm leftovers with toast and sunny side up eggs for a warm, gooey and delicious breakfast.


  • 1 cup big gray peas, pigeon peas, or black eyed peas
  • 8 ounces smoked bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Plain, low-fat Greek yogurt as condiment, optional


  1. Soak peas overnight to shorten the cooking time.
  2. Bring the peas to a boil in salted water, and then reduce to a simmer cooking for roughly an hour. Taste along the way to be sure they don’t over cook. Drain and set aside.
  3. Over medium heat in a large frying pan, add the oil and chopped onion. Cook the onion until golden brown and slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped smoked bacon to the onions and cook until slightly crispy, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add in peas and stir until well combined and warmed through.
  6. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and add a dollop of plain, Greek yogurt, if using.