A refreshing and spicy salad packed with nutrients, Texas pea salad is made with black-eyed peas, green peppers, red peppers, onions, and jalapeno peppers dressed in olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Black-eyed peas are staple healthy meals in the Southern part of the United States, particularly in Texas. It is a New Year’s Day tradition to eat black-eyed peas for prosperity, good luck and fortune. Actually a bean and not a “pea,” black-eyed peas are distinguishable for their black spot or eye on a cream colored skin. Also known as cowpeas and black-eye Susans, black-eyed peas are highly nutritious and are loaded with vitamins and minerals including potassium, magnesium, calcium, folate, and iron.
Black-eyed peas can be bought either fresh or dried. Before washing and cooking, pick through the black eyed peas and sift through for rocks and other debris. Unlike dried peas or lentils, dried black-eyed peas don’t need soaking prior to cooking. But you can shorten the cooking time of the peas if you quick soak it in hot water. Place the dried peas in a pot and cover with water. Bring the peas to a boil for about two to three minutes and remove the pot from the heat. Drain off the water and rinse the beans and cover again with fresh cold water inside the pot. Boil the peas over medium high heat.
Ingredients: 4 cups cooked and drained black-eyed peas, 1 green pepper, seeded and diced, 1 red pepper, seeded and diced, 1 small onion, diced, 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, with the ribs removed, finely diced, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped, Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl mix all the above ingredients in the given order and mix well. Let this mixture refrigerate overnight in your fridge. Serve in salad bowls the next day.
Once the water boils, reduce the heat to a simmer and tilt the lid slightly to allow the steam to escape. Leave the beans to cook for up to an hour or until tender. You can serve the salad warm or cold as an appetizer or enjoy it as a light and healthy snack. Texas pea salad is also delicious served with some chips or nachos, and is perfect with beer or soda.