Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is a tradition worth keeping. I mean we don’t want to miss out on all the good luck coming to us the whole year long, do we? Bring on the fortune with this zesty, politely-spiced Mexican black-eyed pea salad.
¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Since we’re in Baja Mexico, this year I decided to turn tradition into a salad–with south of the border flavors. Tender little beans with their black-eyed wink, tossed with crunchy diced red pepper and cucumber, and minced fresh green jalapeño pepper and cilantro, all coated in tangy lime vinaigrette, all easy and quick–here comes luck, wealth, and health!
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Many say, to represent wealth for the new year, we should include some sort of green with our black-eyed peas. Often collards are the green, particularly in the southern US. I figure the cilantro covers it, but if you want to make sure you’re in the money, stir in some chopped arugula or spinach. This salad would also be nice on top of a bed of mixed lettuce greens dressed in the same lime vinaigrette.
Mexican black-eyed pea salad is a lot like the chunky salsa known as Texas caviar, and you can serve it as a dip with tortilla chips, like they do in the lone star state. Stir in corn kernels and mango chunks for a unique relish that happens to be perfect with sunny-side-up eggs. Just saying.
The jalapeño chile zing going on here is pleasingly fresh, sort of citrusy, and really quite mild. Or else I’m getting used to more picante heat the more time I spend in Mexico… Anyway, if you prefer, use just half of a jalapeño.
It’s my hope that the recipes posted on this blog encourage you into the kitchen to cook delicious healthful food. Thank you dear readers, for being here, for subscribing, cooking and commenting this past year. As we head into the New Year, and always, may good luck, excellent health, and abundance flow to you easily.
Mexican Black-eyed Pea Salad kitchen notes:
- Black-eyed peas are easy to cook from scratch: Rinse and add 1 ½ cups beans to a large pot with 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 45 minutes or so, until tender. Even faster–cook un-soaked beans in a pressure cooker 10 to 11 minutes, then quick release the pressure.
- You can swap the jalapeño with a serrano chile, serranos being slimmer and more picante than jalapeños. As with all green chiles, to focus on flavor, cut out the seeds and veins, which carry the most heat.
- About removing the seeds and veins from small chiles: I’ve been using a grapefruit spoon for the job. Cut the chile in half and hold the stem end while scraping out the seeds, or hold the chile down with a fork, trying not to touch the chile. Wearing gloves is a very good idea, and touching the eyes is not.
More New Year’s Day black-eyed pea dishes from Letty’s Kitchen:
- Black-eyed pea and collards—flavor mélange in a pot.
- Hoppin’ John fritters with collards and “soysage”.
- Southern mess o’ greens soup with black-eyed peas.
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Tender black-eyed peas, tossed with crunchy diced red pepper and cucumber, fresh jalapeño pepper and cilantro, with lime vinaigrette--this is an easy potluck salad all year long. Makes about 5 cups. Serves 6 to 10, depending of course on portion size.
- 2 cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained, (3 to 3 ½ cups cooked beans
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1 red bell pepper diced in ½-inch chunks, about 1 cup
- ½ cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced in ½ inch chunks
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Mix the black-eyed peas, onions, red pepper, jalapeño pepper, and cilantro in a bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, mustard, garlic, oregano, salt, and a generous grind of black pepper.
Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss until everything is well coated. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
Refrigerate at least one hour to allow the flavors to blend. Taste before serving—you may need to add more salt.