March 17, 2014

Cowboy Caviar

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Never mind the name – there's nothing fancy about this black-eyed pea salad. Also known as Texas Caviar, it was invented by Helen Corbitt, chef at the upscale Neiman Marcus store in Dallas. Generally, Texans did not care for caviar, but they loved black-eyed peas (which are actually beans).  Originally, the salad was  doused with bottled Italian dressing, but you can do better. Follow my lead and use lime dressing. Scoop up this "caviar" with corn chips.

14 oz (398 mL) can black-eyed peas, rinsed, drained (about 1-3/4 cups/425 mL)
1/2 cup (125 mL) red bell pepper in small dice
1/4 cup (60 mL) each: diced red onion, coarsely chopped pickled jalapeños
1 small tomato, diced (optional)
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped cilantro
3 to 4 tbsp (45 to 60 mL) Lime Garlic Dressing
Kosher salt to taste

Add black-eyed peas, red pepper, onion, jalapeños, tomato (if desired) and 1-1/2 tbsp (22 mL) cilantro to medium bowl. Add 3 tbsp (45 mL) dressing. Gently combine with fork.

Set aside 1 to 2 hours to allow flavours to meld. Add some or all of remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) dressing. Add salt. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tbsp (7 mL) cilantro before serving.

Makes 2-1/2 cups (625 mL).

• If you are refrigerating this salad, omit the tomato. Refrigerated tomatoes are horrible.

Corny Cowboy Caviar
Some folks like to add corn. If you wish, add about 1/2 cup (125 mL) corn kernels.

Credit: Susan Sampson
Tested in Imperial