Posted by: A Part of the Solution | July 26, 2013

Black-Eyed Peas Salad

Once again, I am indebted to Gail Naftalin for this go-to summer salad. I always cook the full pound of black-eyed peas. During the week, I have a filling, nutritious and tasty snack or meal holding in the fridge for busy days. This recipe for black-eyed peas salad is gluten-free. This recipe for black-eyed peas salad is vegan. This recipe for black-eyed peas salad is super-delicious and totally refreshing.

If you cook the whole pound of black-eyed peas, you’ll have ten or eleven finished cups of salad. Add whatever veggies are handiest in your fridge or garden. If you use zucchini or cucumbers, be sure to seed them. If the cucumber is waxed or not-Organic, peel it before splitting, seeding and chopping. Use red cabbage slivers in the salad, or tiny broccoli or cauliflower florets, but remember they’ll become sulfurous within a day or two, which doesn’t indicate spoilage, but does make the black-eyed peas salad smell off. Take home message: if you’re using brassica family vegetables, consume the salad within a day or two.

Black-Eyed Peas Summer Salad

To cook the black-eyed peas:

1 lb of dried black-eyed peas, picked through for stones and rinsed

1 whole onion, peeled and stuck with 3 whole cloves (cloves optional, but they’re worth keeping around to add their subtle joy to your home-cooked beans)

1 carrot, broken into three or four pieces

2 stalks of celery, with leaves if possible, broken into three or four pieces each

1 whole bay leaf


For the dressing:

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons prepared Dijon-style mustard (or something grainy and appealing if that’s your preference)

1 1/2 tablespoons of ketchup, or tomato paste

1 1/2 tablespoons of while or red miso OR the same amount of tamari, soy sauce, or aminos

2 teaspoons Sri-Ra-Cha sauce, or to taste (optional if you don’t want any spiciness in the salad, of course)

2 teaspoons herbs de Provence herb blend, or any dried flavorful herb blend you have on hand OR two to three tablespoons of mixed fresh herbs, well minced

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 clove of garlic, peeled and mashed with 1/2 teaspoon of salt

5-6 oz extra virgin olive oil

For the salad vegetables:

2-3 carrots, scraped and chopped into thin half-moons

1 large stalk of celery, with leaves if possible, sliced finely

2-3 jalapenos, or other medium heat peppers, or 1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced finely

3 green onions or scallions or shallots, peeled and sliced finely (use the green parts as well if using green onions)

OPTIONAL salad veggies:

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced finely

1or 2 zucchini (depending on their size), peeled or scrubbed well, seeded and sliced finely

1/4 small red cabbage, sliced finely

1 head of broccoli, broken into small florets

In a four or five quart pot, put the black-eyed peas and the onion, carrot, celery and bay leaf. Cover the peas with water and add salt–which helps to soften the outer hulls on the black-eyed peas. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a seethe where you can see things moving under the surface with only a bubble or two on the surface. Skim the scum from the peas occasionally during the first thirty minutes as they cook. Allow the peas to cook through. If they’re fairly fresh, this may take only one hour. If not, they may take two hours or more. Mainly, you want them to be soft enough to squish between your tongue and your palate. Drain the black-eyed peas in a large colander.

In a blender or food processor, place all the ingredients for the dressing except the oil. Let the machine run until everything is well incorporated. With the machine running, add the oil a drop at a time for a minute. Increase the flow to a broken thread. After another minute, let the flow of oil increase to a thin, steady stream. Taste the dressing after you’ve added five ounces of the oil. Is it very sharp? Add more oil. Is it bland? Add another pinch of salt, miso or a few drops of soy or aminos. Is it bitter? Add another teaspoon or two of balsamic vinegar.

Pick the cooking veggies from the black-eyed peas and put them in your compost bucket. In a large bowl, toss the still-warm black-eyed peas with the dressing. Allow the peas to cool thoroughly, tossing occasionally, before adding the salad vegetables. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least two hours.




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