This summer I’m living with an old friend from college, Jeff, while Betsy is doing an internship in Atlanta. I’ve lived with Jeff before and we both love to cook and eat so it should work out just dandy. One thing about Jeff is that he is a vegetarian and I actually like that because it forces me to try some dishes I might not normally make and probably eat a bit healthier in the process. (Don’t worry, there will still be meat stuff on Macheesmo. I’m not going veg… just living with one.)
It’s always nice to trade recipes with someone because it is a great way to get out of a recipe slump. This is a dish that Jeff introduced me to that I’ll be taking to a few cookouts over the weekend. It is pretty simple, but packed with flavor. You can eat it as a salad but I like to play up the name and serve it on chips as I imagine a Texan would do.
Jeff suggested some changes to the recipe because he’s made it a bunch of times.
Yield: Serves 10 as an appetizer
1 16 ounce bag of dried black-eyed peas (soaked overnight in cold water)
1 bunch of scallions, only use the white part from half the scallions otherwise it will be too oniony.
1 green pepper, diced fine.
1 tomato, wash out the seeds and dice fine.
3 cloves garlic.
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
1 bunch of parsley
2-3 jalapenos depending on how hot you want it.
1 Tablespoon Worchestershire sauce (If you are actually trying to make this vegetarian, be sure to buy the version without anchovies.)
1 Tablespoon Tabasco or other hot sauce.
Salt and pepper. I like lots of pepper, around a tablespoon.
1 Cup olive oil
1/2 Cup balsamic vinegar
1) Soak the beans overnight.
2) Drain the beans and rinse them off a bit with cold water.
3) Follow the directions on the package to cook them, but basically simmer them with some salt for about an hour until they are tender.
4) Chop up all of the veggies to make sure they are small and uniform.
5) Prep the vinaigrette dressing. Use 2 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar.
6) Basically stir everything together. Adjust the flavors a bit to your tastes. For example, we added a bit more salt and probably another teaspoon of Worchestershire sauce and Tabasco.
7) Make sure you give it time to chill in the fridge for at least a few hours.
8) Serve on tortilla chips.
So as I mentioned, soak these beans overnight. They will soak up a lot of moisture because, well, they are dry.
Drain them and rinse them off a bit with cold water.
Follow the directions on the package to cook them, but basically simmer them with some salt for about an hour until they are tender. Be careful not to overcook them or they will just get mushy.
While that cooks you’ll need to get chopping.
Spend some time chopping up all of the veggies to make sure they are small and uniform. Especially with the peppers. The last thing someone wants is a large bite of jalapeno.
Also, you can prep your vinaigrette dressing now. I usually use a 3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar for a vinaigrette, but Jeff uses 2 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar so I went with that and it works well in this dish. The extra vinegar adds needed acid to the dish.
Just drizzle in the olive oil and whisk continuously for a few minutes. Couldn’t be easier.
This was a lot of chopping, but totally worth it.
Then basically stir everything together. Adjust the flavors a bit to your tastes. For example, we added a bit more salt and probably another teaspoon of Worchestershire sauce and Tabasco.
It’s great as a salad, it’s great as a dip, it’s pretty much just delicious.
This is one of those magical salads that gets much better a day or two later. Not that it isn’t good right away, but it will rock a day after. No matter what though, make sure you give it time to chill in the fridge for at least a few hours. Warm caviar is kind of gross.
Happy Memorial Day everybody.