Marlin said it was a traditional Southern dish meant to bring good luck for the coming year. I had never heard of it, but I’m a believer now, and I have made it every year since. I’ve made a few changes of the Italian sort to the vinaigrette.
This is so good. I promise!
Yield: 8 cups
1 pound uncooked black-eyed peas, (3 cups dried)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (I like Bragg’)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1½ cups sweet bell peppers: red, yellow & green (½ cup of each color), chopped
¾ cup red onions, chopped finely
2 green onions, including stems, sliced thinly
1 cup Italian flat-leafed parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
How to Wash, Sort, and Soften Dried Black-Eyed Peas:
Before you cook dried peas, you need to soften them using either the overnight soak method or the quick soak method. I usually decide which method to use based on how much time I have to prepare the recipe.
1) The Overnight Soak Method: put the washed peas in a pot, cover with 8 cups of cold water and soak overnight for 6-8 hours. The peas expand to about three times their size while soaking. Drain and rinse in a colander.
To Cook Peas:
Put the softened peas in a pot and add 8 cups of water. Do not salt the water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour. Set your timer. Peas are done when they are tender to eat. If they start to break apart, they are overdone, but still usable (the final product will be more hummus-like, and that tastes good, too). When done, drain in a colander.
While beans are simmering, make the salad dressing and prep the add-in vegetables. You will want to add the salad dressing while the peas are still warm.
To Make Salad Dressing:
Measure 1/2 cup of olive oil in a liquid measure. To this add the cider and balsamic vinegars, salt, pepper, oregano, mustard, and garlic. Whisk together and set aside.
To Prep Vegetables:
Wash and seed peppers. I used half of each color of pepper which when chopped came out to about 1½ cups total. I use different colors because I like the confetti look. I used half an onion that came out to about ¾ of a cup. Later, I added two green onions for more flavor and color.
To prep peppers and onions for chopping in a food processor, cut into two to three-inch chunks. Pulse until minced. Do not purée.
When I went to look in my garden for more parsley for the garnish, I noticed the green onions were still flourishing and added two of them to the salad.
Notice how I used both the white and green parts of the green onions or scallions, as we called them up North.
Add the salad dressing and the chopped vegetables. Mix well and refrigerate overnight. Toss once or twice while in the refrigerator. Serve chilled.
Happy New Year!
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