For the first post of 2011 I’m going to jump right in with a recipe that’s not only a Southern tradition, but is a yummy AND healthy way to start the New Year.
In the South, it’s a tradition to eat black-eyed-peas on New Year’s Day; it’s supposed to bring luck and prosperity. In my family we’ve always eaten a cold salad made of black-eyed-peas, black beans, corn, cilantro, and some kind of jar salsa (usually Pace). It’s simple and quick and tastes pretty good … and makes sure we don’t lose out on any possible prosperity or luck! However it’s pretty basic and mostly thrown together from a couple of cans. This year I found a Texas Caviar recipe online that is soooooo incredibly good that it’s going to become my new recipe not only for New Year’s Day, but for the whole year. I love the addition of rice for a little grain flavor and texture. Plus it’s full of fresh veggies – a huge bonus over the “canned” version. The entire family raved about this … and it disappeared so fast.
The version below is based on the recipe posted by Endless Simmer; I changed the proportions and a few ingredients, however.
Start with the following, diced: 1 tomato, 1 small bell pepper, 1/2 a red onion, and 1-2 serrano chili peppers.
I kept the seeds and membrane in my serrano, but if you want a milder chili taste w/out the burn, remove the seeds and membrane before mincing. ALWAYS use gloves (or as I did, a plastic bag over my hand) when dicing chili peppers.
Next I added in a cup of frozen corn (it was mostly still frozen when I added it – it thawed as the salad set in the fridge overnight):
And 2 cans of drained and rinsed black-eyed peas.
I also added a cup of cooked brown rice (which I don’t have a picture of!) and some chopped cilantro (yummy!):
Then I mixed the dressing: 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 Tbsp cider vinegar, 1 clove of garlic, 2 Tbsp dijon mustard, and the juice of one lime, whisking it well to blend.
Toss it all together and let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. I thought that this was at it’s best the next day after the flavors had a chance to blend. It’s a great stand alone salad, but it also works really well as a dip for tortilla chips if you’re wanting something snacky and still reasonably healthy to eat while watching a ball game.
I also think this would be pretty awesome made with black beans or a combination of beans as a cold summer salad for a picnic or party. I’m definitely going to experiment with it this summer!
- 2 cans black-eyed peas (I used Bush’s brand), drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 cup sweet corn kernals
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 small bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced (I didn’t really measure, just used about 1/2 onion)
- 1 or 2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, finely diced
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 to 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and set it aside to blend.
Mix all the other ingredients. I used 1 serrano chile pepper, with the seeds and membranes and *I* barely tasted it. Others in my family thought it was perfect as it was. So just depends on your tastes .. I personally would put a second serrano or jalapeno in the mix.
Toss with the chilled dressing and garnish with a little more chopped cilantro.
A final note about the dressing – the original recipe didn’t call for the lime juice, but I felt like it really needed the additional zip. I didn’t have a whole lime so wound up adding 3 packets of True Lime to the dressing and whisking it up. At that point I thought it was perfect.
By the recipe above it makes about 8 servings (approx 1 cup). Nutritional value is:
Cals: 152 | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5.8g | Carbs: 20.8g | Fiber: 3.2g