Blacked Eyed Pea Salad - This easy, quick, and bursting with flavor salad is great for the holidays, and is gluten free, easy to make ahead of time, and vegan to boot!
This recipe is especially popular around New Years, as it's tradition, especially in the south, to eat black eyed peas for financial luck in the new year.
The inspiration for this salad comes from a side dish with many names, cowboy caviar, southern caviar, or Texas caviar to name a few. This is still basically a salad, or a dip for chips, either tortilla or potato. It's so easy, and made from colorful and common everyday ingredients, we think it will be very popular with your family and guests!
This made with our blackening spice blend, making this recipe even more simple when you have this staple ingredient already made ahead.
Why Black Eyed Peas?
Why would this salad include black eyed peas as the main ingredient? The answer is in the origin story, which is based on convenience, like many recipe origins.
In the south there are a great many traditions based on superstitions, and this one revolves around the New Years food tradition.
Ever since I was a little boy, I can remember being told that I had to eat my greens and peas before New Years day was done. Sometimes the greens took the form of collards, and many times cabbage. The peas were always black eyed, though. All I ever knew was that it was supposed to be for good luck in the coming year.
The food is meant to symbolize money and prosperity. Greens for green dollars, and the peas to resemble coins. Eating some is said to ensure you'll make some money in the future, and not doing so ensures your poverty.
When making the peas, of course you want to make a lot, wouldn't want to curse someone to bad luck, right? But what to do with the leftovers? Make a tasty, quick, colorful salad out of them!
- Black eyed peas - We're using canned here, making it convenient, but if you have some cooked from scratch ones, use those.
- Blackening spice blend - The link to our recipe for this versatile spice blend is above, but Paul Prudhomme's brand will work in a pinch. Don't confuse this with creole seasoning blend, as this is a lot spicier, and way less salty.
- Corn kernels - Frozen, just thaw it and toss it in!
- Jalapeno peppers - If you don't want a lot of heat, we have that built into the recipe, not to worry.
- Red onion - We really like the tart acidity of the red ones here, not even to mention the bright color.
- Tomatoes - Look for romas, because they are meatier, as well as nice and red, ripe ones.
- Flat leaf parsley - This is one of the things that sets this black eyed pea salad apart from cowboy caviar, we have replaced the cilantro and lime juice with parsley and a vinaigrette.
See recipe card for quantities.
Step one - Knife Work
This knife work is really the hardest part. Chop up the onion as shown.
De-seed and fine dice the jalapeno. Notice that we set aside the veins and seeds, this is to customize the spice level.
Step Two, Finish Cutting, Toss Together
Cut away the watery core of the tomatoes and fine dice.
Mix the vinaigrette together, toss it in with the salad, and that's it!
This is a true "make ahead" type of recipe. The flavors really combine and come to the forefront after at least one day from making it. It's so easy and quick, though, that this should never be an issue.
As this is already gluten free, allergen free, vegan, and keto friendly, there's no need to substitute anything!
This recipe can be modified all kinds of ways!
- Spicy - simply add some of those reserved jalapeno seeds!
- Beans - any small bean will work fine here, try black beans, for instance
- Fancy - add some avocado chunks, cucumber, or even some cooked bacon for a twist
This black eyed pea salad will stay fresh in the refrigerator tightly sealed for up to 7 days.
If you freeze this in a sealed zip lock bag, it will keep for up to a month. Just make sure to thaw it slowly in the refrigerator overnight, or the texture will be too soft.
While this is traditionally eaten in January, it is equally welcome in the summer months. It pairs so well with barbecue ribs as a nice refreshing side! It's also very well suited for hot weather events like tailgating and such, since it doesn't have mayonnaise or any animal proteins that need more immediate refrigeration.
Black Eyed Pea Salad
- 1 Cutting Board
- 1 knife
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 wire whip
- 1 Kitchen Scale
- 1 Measuring Spoon Set
- 12 oz. corn kernels frozen, thawed
- 6 oz. red onion weight after small dicing, about one medium onion
- 2½ oz. jalapeno fresh, about 2 small each, de seeded, and small diced
- 1 lb. roma tomatoes cores removed, small diced
- ½ bunch parsley flat leaf, fine chopped
- 24 oz. black eyed peas one can, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp. blackening spice see recipe, or use Paul Prudhomme's brand
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 each garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 4 tbsp. apple sider vinegar
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 4 tablespoon sunflower oil any light and flavorless vegetable oil will work fine here
- Combine all salad ingredients.
- Whip together all dressing ingredients.
- Combine the dressing and salad and mix well to combine.
- Serve with chips to dip, or as a cold side.