Black Eyed Pea Salad

Not being from the South, I don’t think I ate a single black eyed pea until a few months ago. I’m not jumping-up-and-down excited about them, but they’re not bad, and since we have a couple bags of them to use up, I’ve been trying to figure out what I can do with them. My search for recipes let me to Texas caviar, which appears to be just black eyed peas and diced vegetables in a vinegar dressing, served with tortilla chips.

I wanted to make a meal rather than an appetizer, so this is what I came up with. Meat-eaters would probably consider this a side, but I think it can hold its own as the main course of a light summer supper. The flavor improved a lot after a few hours in the fridge, so plan ahead. I’m sure frozen corn would work in a pinch, but now that we’re getting into peak corn season, it just makes sense to use it!

Recipe:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 ears of corn
3 cups cooked (or canned) black eyed peas
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 green onions, white and light green parts only, chopped
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sugar
pinch or two cayenne pepper
salt
pepper

Slice the kernels of corn off the ears. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a wide skillet, then add the corn and saute over medium-high until it’s tender. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Stir in the black eyed peas, red and green bell pepper, and green onion, and toss well.

To make the dressing, whisk together the 2 tbsp olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste (a pinch or two of each). Pour over the salad, toss well, then let sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving. It’s even better the next day.

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