Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Texas caviar

I happened upon a wonderful recipe for “Texas caviar” in Saveur this month. I had never heard of Texas caviar but a quick google search turned up a million variations on the same theme of spiced, black eyed peas. I’m always game for a good bean/pea salad, especially for one as beautiful as this one looks. What’s more, I’ve been saving dried black eyed peas for Hoppin’ John on New Year’s for some time (without ever executing) so it was about time to make use of them. The original recipe called for a (16 oz) bottle of spicy Italian salad dressing but that seemed a little odd so I tweaked the recipe and we were all happy with the way it turned out.

16 ounces dried black eyed peas (or two 16 oz cans of canned peas, drained)
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and diced small
1 green pepper, cored, seeded and diced small
1 large tomato cored, seeded and diced
8 chopped scallions (or to taste) (white and green parts)
1/3 cup chili sauce (I used Heinz which is mild and slightly sweet)
1/3 cup vinegar (I used champagne vinegar because that’s what we had but I think white or red wine vinegar would both work well too)
¼ cup chopped Cilantro (or Italian parsley if you don’t like cilantro)
¼ - 1/3 cup olive oil Salt and pepper

Cook dried peas (or drain canned peas). Black eyed peas cook fast and will quickly become mushy if you don't keep watch. Combine cooked peas with the rest of the ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and adjust other seasonings to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight to allow beans to marinate and flavors to combine. Serve as a side salad (cold or at room temperature) or as a dip with chips.

Variations: Add 1 (4 oz) jar chopped pimentos
Add 1 garlic clove
Add 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
Add a few dashes of Tabasco, to taste


Anonymous said...

Your photos and descriptions make me want to cook. Excellent blog!

Anonymous said...

Though somewhat difficult to find, frozen blackeyed peas are far superior to canned or dried.

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