black eyed pea salad (Gotta’ EAT that-that-that!)

{One of these days, we’ll have a camera to actually take pictures of the things we cook. Until then, I’ll have to borrow pictures of what you’re finished dish ‘might’ look like. Forgive me if you’re ever let down! And you can thank me later for the title reference.}

I love bean salads.

If that statement didn’t make me sound cool, I don’t know what else will.

What I mean to say is, I love les legumes. They’re so good for you and can taste completely awesome if cooked right. And while there is a place for crock pot beans which, I’m sorry to say, you won’t see me posting about them because I think it’s just as easy to get them started on the stove and go about your day’s tasks.

I don’t think I liked black eyed peas growing up. I didn’t like a lot of stuff.
These days, beans make for awesome lunch on-the-go or good snacks for baby nephews and my wife.
If you’ve gone to any Italian grocery, they should have some traditional Gigande beans, which are big, flat and white. Usually they’ll be festering wonderfully in olive oil, peppers, onions and garlic.

This is similar to how I make my black eyed pea salad. It’s one of those things that gets better the longer you let it sit in your fridge. (Just not too long…or they’ll get funky.)

I made these for my Mardi Gras party last week and I think folks liked em’!

Black Eyed Pea Salad:
1 lb dried black eyed peas
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
1 red bell pepper, minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced (whites and greens)
3-4T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
salt/pepper
dash of cayenne
1-2tsp balsamic vinegar, to taste
1-2tsp red wine vinegar, to taste

First, if you can, let your beans sit in water over night. They’ll generally double in size. If not, it’s okay. Your beans may have a slightly different texture, but you should be fine.

Bring a pot up to boil containing your water/chicken stock mix. Salt the water really well. (Taste it. If it’s good on salt, your beans will taste of it.)

Toss in your beans and reduce to a simmer.
Cook for about 25-30 minutes. Keep checking. They will not absorb much water and that’s okay. Taste as they cook. You don’t want them to get too mushy. Once they pass that “still too hard for me to enjoy” phase and when they are perfectly tender, drain and rinse your peas with cool water to stop the cooking. Place on a tray and allow them to cool off before you start mixing.

In a big bowl (because one pound of black eyed peas will feed a good sized family for a couple of days) toss in your peas, bell pepper, green onion and seasonings. This is also one of those “salt to taste” issues. Your beans might already be the way you want them, so start light with the salt and work your way up. Same with pepper.

Once the bell pepper, green onion and seasonings are mixed, add your vinegars. Use vinegar like you would salt. Add a bit here and there. Taste. Add more if needed.

Let all of this sit in your fridge for a few hours before serving, tossing occasionally. I like eating these peas at room temperature, but you can serve them however.

I hope you decide to make these sometime! They keep well and go with just about anything.

Enjoy!

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