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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Black-eyed Pea Salad

I've mentioned before how much I love black-eyed peas. My crop of shell peas has been superior this summer so I love them even more. This recipe is based on two recipes but includes other garden fresh ingredients I had on hand.


Black-eyed Pea Salad

Adapted from: Country Living and from Emeril Lagasse
Serves 4-6

I think you can tweak this in anyway you'd like. I didn't have spinach called for in the recipe so I used green beans and placed the salad on a bed of arugula from my garden. If you're vegetarian, leave the bacon out. Change the herbs if you prefer. 

You can use black-eyed peas in any form. I particularly like fresh shell beans since I grow them, but you can cook dry beans or you can use canned (just rinse them well and stir the mix gently). If you use frozen, you can treat them as fresh.

4 c fresh or frozen black-eyed peas cooked until tender but not falling apart (mine took about 25 minutes). I like to add some carrot and celery chunks as well as a halved onion to add flavor to the peas. Remove those additions before cooling the peas and making the salad.

1/3 c olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
3 strips bacon, cut into 3/4-inch chunks and cooked
1/3 c finely chopped red onion
1/3 c thinly sliced scallions
1 T very finely chopped jalapeno chile (or more if you'd like)
2 T chopped Italian parsley
1 red bell pepper, chopped in 3/4-inch pieces
1 c halved cherry tomatoes
1 c green beans, cooked to crisp tender, or 2 c cleaned baby spinach, or chopped kale (you might want to massage it before adding it to the salad)
salt and pepper to taste
salad greens or arugula, optional

Prepare black-eyed peas and cool to room temperature. Place the olive oil and the vinegar into a large bowl and stir. Place the black-eyed peas into the bowl and stir well to combine.

While cooking the bacon, chop the other salad ingredients and add to the bowl. Toss all together and top with the bacon and stir once more. Taste it to see if you need to add more salt or more vinegar.

You may want to let the salad rest in the fridge for several hours before serving to allow flavors to meld. (I did not--I wanted to eat before bedtime.) If you choose to do this, remove from fridge 30 minutes before serving and toss once more. 

If you don't use spinach or kale in the salad you may want to have some salad greens or arugula arranged on each serving plate. Top the greens with the salad.

Serve with crusty bread or cornbread.

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