This recipe caught my eye as I was poring over the May issue of Saveur Magazine on the flight home. It’s from their feature on Senegal called “A Feast for All,” which is a country that has recently been brought to my awareness by my new friend Bill.
Bill has told me stories about his time in Senegal a couple of years ago; Penny de los Santos‘ vibrant, rich photographs of Senegalese cooking and culture brought his stories to life for me.
This salad is not one of the signature Senegalese dishes that Bill described to me, but it seemed fresh, light and simple, which is precisely the kind of food I’ve been craving since gorging myself on Milk Bar treats and sandwiches in New York.
Since I got home, I’ve been mulling over the people and personalities I encountered during my trip. I feel honored to have had the chance to hang out with such fine bloggers. The voices behind each blog rang true; each person was exactly as I had imagined them to be. It was almost like all my favorite characters came to life.
I met so many great people at the Saveur party and on Veronica‘s rooftop that listing them by name seems a futile effort, but thank you to all for being so individually wonderful. Highlights included late night Shack Shack with Alaina, Nicole, Kimberley and Cara, riding the subway to Long Island City with Kasey and chattering away about the realities of food blogging with Sarah, Laura and Yossy. Big thank you to Elizabeth for hailing a cab for this clueless Oklahoma girl in the rain, to my good friend Samee for accompanying me on the trip and to Kyle for being the greatest host and tour guide ever. It was grand.
Senegalese Black-Eyed Pea Salad (Saladu Ñebbe)
- Prep Time: 1 hour 15 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
- Yield: 4 to 6 1x
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: African
Black-eyed peas are not just for New Years! They are delicious little white beans with a mild taste and smooth texture, and as such can and should be enjoyed year-round. This simple, refreshing bean salad recipe makes a great summer side or potluck dish. I added leftover brown basmati rice and sliced avocado to make it a complete meal.
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2 ½ limes, juiced)
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup olive oil*
- 5 cups cooked black-eyed peas (roughly 3 cups dried peas makes 5 cups cooked, see notes for cooking instructions)
- 10 scallions, roughly chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped
- 1 medium cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 serrano peppers or 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cooked brown basmati rice (optional)
- Sliced avocado (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice and parsley. Continue whisking as you slowly drizzle in the olive oil to make a smooth dressing.
- Add the black-eyed peas, scallions, bell pepper, tomato (try not to transfer the tomato juice and seeds to the salad), cucumber, and minced pepper to the bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and use a big spoon to toss the salad.
- Cover and set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate up to overnight to marinate and meld the flavors. Serve chilled or at room temperature. To make this salad a main dish, serve it on top of cooked brown basmati rice and top with avocado slices.
Adapted from Saveur Magazine, May 2012.
*Oil note: The original recipe called for one cup canola oil, which seemed like way too much oil. I reduced the oil by half and used olive oil instead. You might be able to get away with just ⅓ cup oil.
How to cook black-eyed peas: Pick through 3 cups dried peas to remove debris. Soak overnight in ample water. Drain, rinse and return to a large pot. Cover with water by a few inches (about 9 cups water is ideal) and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes, scooping off the white foam from the surface as best you can. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Test the beans for doneness after 20 minutes, they may take up to 45 minutes depending on the age of the beans. You want tender, but not mushy, beans. Add salt during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain the beans and return them to the pot to cool.
Make it tomato free: Omit the cherry/grape tomatoes.
This salad sounds awesome! Love this idea!
This sounds like a perfect salad for summer nights–or for picnics on the weekends! I’m glad to see that avocado in there too. :)
I read a lot of cooking blogs, but I’ve subscribed to yours, because everything looks fresh and delicious (and mainly veggie), including this salad. I love black-eyed peas–perhaps my Southern roots. I make a very similar salad, but stir in some pomegranate molasses and chopped toasted walnuts, and then it’s a Turkish salad.
Thanks for your great recipes!
Thanks for your sweet comment, Cat! I am just now learning to love black-eyed peas, can’t get enough of them! Your Turkish salad sounds great!
I must try this recipe. It looks very yummy.
Laura (Tutti Dolci)
I’ve never tried black-eyed peas but this salad looks fresh & delicious!
I wasn’t sure if I liked black-eyed peas before I made this salad, but now I think they might be my favorite white bean! Love the small size, smooth texture and delicate taste. Hope you’ll give them a try!
I have a 4 year old that’s nuts about black eyed peas (I usually use them in gumbo). She would love this salad!
Looks yummy! I’ll have to remember this for New Years. I always feel like I have to eat black eyed peas!
luv what you do
These looks so fresh and tasty. I made my first black eyed pea salad a few weekends and used the canned beans. I am impressed that you bought them ‘fresh’. Were they hard to make???
Actually, cooking dried black-eyed peas was easier than cooking any other type of bean I’ve tried so far! I like to cook big batches of dried beans and freeze most of them for later. Dried beans are much cheaper than canned, and cooking them in bulk is a real time saver!
I’m always on the hunt for tasty new bean salads, and this one looks great! My husband has a habanero habit so we’ve pretty much always got them on hand, and I bet he’ll love the kick in this salad. Thanks for the recipe!
Lucky girl, I couldn’t find habaneros anywhere! I would have used them if I could have found them. Hope you get a chance to make this salad soon, it’s so refreshing and satisfying!
I saw this recipe and thought it looked delicious! It also looked very familiar…the people of Senegal seem to share a very similar dish with people from Texas (I myself am from NYC, not Texas)! Helen Corbitt’s 1940’s dish was called “Texas Caviar”– and I’ve made it and it’s delicious– perfect for a summer meal. http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Texas-Caviar
Your photos are gorgeous! You should try Saladu Awooka ak Mango. It was really good too!
You’re so right, Batya, the Senegalese salad does have a lot in common with Texas caviar! I live in Oklahoma and I’ve only encountered Texas caviar at grocery stores in their to-go food sections. I’m sure I would love homemade Texas caviar just as much as this salad! I can’t get enough black-eyed peas lately.
Jen @ Savory Simple
The colors are so vibrant! It’s recipes like this one that inspire me to eat healthy.
A lot of great stuff came out of this NYC trip, indeed! Have I told you lately how proud am I of your pretty face?!
Thanks, Sarah. :)
I made this salad today and I like it a lot. I’m going to a potluck picnic so I put the avocado,and peppers on the side. I added barley to it to make a complete protein.
Pinch and Swirl
Fun to hear a but about your NYC adventure – yay for new friends! I didn’t try black eyed peas until after my mother-in-law made them on New Years Day – she was born and raised in Chattanooga. They are SO good and this salad looks fresh and fantastic.
Pinch and Swirl
whoops, a BIT about your NYC adventure… :)
Isn’t it funny how our bodies revert back to craving veggies and light foods after a vacation? I never think to make black-eyed peas during warmer weather, but I think this salad is going to change that!
I love the close-up of the peas boiling in water.
I made this last night for supper and it was fantastic! It was my first experience with black eyed peas and they were wonderful. I found “fresh frozen” ones at my market that cooked so quick and I served it over quinoa vs the brown rice for a great summer meal!
Yes! I’m so happy to hear that you tried the salad and enjoyed it, Meg! This salad didn’t get the response that some of my other salads do and I realized later that maybe it’s because most people aren’t familiar with black-eyed peas. I wasn’t until I tried this and I now I think black-eyed peas are my favorite white bean! I will keep an eye out for fresh frozen black-eyed peas, that sounds like a great time-saver. Thanks so much for commenting!
And here was I thinking that Black Eyed Peas was just the name of Furgie’s popgroup… Ooopsss…
The salad looks delicious by the way, really nutritious and healthy, thanks for the recipe!
I tried this salad yesterday after finding it on your blog on Friday and I was so happy I did. Thank you for sharing. While I could visualize that I would love it, it was hard to sell my 4 year old on BEPs – he’s not a fan. I am happy to report that he loved the dish and so did the rest of my family. I have some packed for lunch today and I can barely wait…
So happy to hear it, Nolita! I was pretty sad when I ran out of my leftover salad. I’ll have to make another batch soon!
I’ve never tried black-eyed peas before… this looks like a great recipe to start off with! Can’t wait to try it!
I’ve made this recipe several times now, its my new staple bean salad. Fits perfect in my vegan diet and the taste is incredible!
I’m so glad to hear that, Monica. I loved this salad so I was a little disappointed that this post didn’t get a more enthusiastic response. I think that’s because people don’t know that they’re missing out on black-eyed peas! Speaking of which, I need to buy some more.
Thanks so much for this recipe, which we made today for our New Year’s meal. It turned out great, extremely fresh tasting. I can’t think of a better way to use black eyed peas. This will become a holiday staple for us (we live in a warm climate, so it’s especially nice to have a light and cold option!) and we’ll likely make it through the spring and summer too, when our veggies are in season. I make a similar salad with lentils, and think they would be a great substitute here, if anyone has trouble finding black eyed peas in their store. We used fresh black eyed peas since they were available. Many thanks and happy new year!
Thanks for commenting, Kathy! So glad you and your family enjoyed the black-eyed pea salad. The recipe hasn’t gotten as much attention as I think it deserves—it’s light yet filling and so satisfying.
Fresh fresh fresh fresh fresh fresh fresh fresh fresh fresh fresh fresh totaly Fresh! !! !
yeah Mr fresh totally agree bep’s are totally fresh!!!!
I made this with a visiting friend a few weeks ago. We left out tomatoes because we don’t care about them. We added avocados because we love them. My goodness, what a little feast of a tasty fresh and good feeling dish this is! I am making it again today to take to a neighborhood cookout. It’s summertime already here in Naples FL and this is how I love to eat in the summer. Thanks for continuing to bring great tasty food that I can share with vegetarian and vegan friends and when I’m not in the mood for the usual proteins. We also used brown rice as a bed for the salad which was a great complement to the earthy freshness of the bep’s.
Thank you, Lisa! I’m delighted you’re enjoying my recipes.
This was a nice, simple recipe, a lot like what I usually make my family for dinner. I will say, though, that unlike every other recipe from cookie+kate that I’ve tried, it only meets (rather than exceeds) expectations– I found this to be salad rather blah and unexciting. However, it will no doubt be a great starting point for some experimentation with additional flavours and textures. Thanks as always!
I’m making this salad for my second time today. It’s quite a large batch for two people to eat on but the leftovers don’t last long! It taste even better after a day or two!! I absolutely love it!
Thanks! Really happy to hear you’re enjoying the salad! I have some other bean salads on the blog that you might enjoy, like my chickpea salad.
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve made this now. It is soooo good and really simple. It’s my go-to lunch if I have time to prepare something for the week and great for potlucks. Love it!
I made the African Black eyed Pea Salad and thought it was delicious, filling and refreshing. I sprouted my black eyed peas first, then cooked and cooled them before adding the other ingredients. Because I sprouted the beans which made them a complete protein I didn’t add the brown rice. It made a complete meal and was so good! Thank you for this recipe – it’s going into my favorites.
Just made this.. I swooned
I don’t have instagram, but check it out here:
Thanks for sharing.. this was just what I needed!
I no longer soak any beans including black eye peas. Some time ago since reading the blogs on soaking or not I personally find not soaking superior in every way. Better texture and taste, hold better the shape and absolutely no bloating/ gas effects. Also making my life simpler as although I love thinking about food I rarely prepare in advance.
I’m about to try your recipe which I’m sure will taste good just by looking at the ingredients.
I have been trying to follow the Fuhrman Eat to Live programme – I take great pleasure in vegetables and fruit – but am not convinced excluding oils -apart from those from nuts – is essential to good health. It surely depends on how you use them.
I will be using olive oil in the recipe. I am after all European. Dr Furhman’s plan seems to be of more use to clinically obese American’s with underlying potentially life threatening medical problems rather than to be a wholesale panacea for the entire human race.
In any event -as some studies seem to indicate we retain certain characteristics from culturally different identities. Orientals genetically and generally slim are known to grow fat after adopting a western style eating practice. So much also depends on how one lives life.
Apologies if this sounds like a lecture. Not intended.
Anne, thanks for your note! I’m glad to hear you prefer beans that haven’t been soaked; I find that to be quite a deterrent. I am a big fan of olive oil and use it pretty liberally. You wouldn’t believe how much olive oil I went through while I was testing recipes for my cookbook, and yet my pants still fit as they always have! I just preferred the texture of this salad with less oil; seemed wasteful to add so much if it’s just going to pool on the bottom. Anyway, I hope you loved it!
I just found you site, love the recipes, will be making mexican caviar for a pic-nic, looks delicious, will be trying more of your wonderful recipes, love that they are healthy, thanks.
Great! I hope everyone enjoys it, Marcy.
If the recipe is Senegalese, why give it the more general descriptor of African? This feeds into the ignorance many Americans have regarding Africa and the misconception that Africa is one country as opposed to the second largest continent comprised of over 50 countries.
Hi there, that is an excellent question and thank you for asking. I’m not sure why I called it simply “African” back in 2012. That was a mistake. I’ve changed the title to Senegalese to better reflect the originating culture. All my best, Kate
This is another great recipe! The colors, textures, and flavors combine to make pretty special centerpiece for summertime. A couple of things: 1. Though this takes it firmly out of the realm of North Africa, I found that adding a couple of tablespoons of capers (Mezetta) brightens the salad up even more with their distinctive vinegary but un-harsh flavor.
2. The best tasting and cooking black-eyed peas that I’ve found after many years of looking and cooking are (of course, only in my opinion) the offering from Rancho Gordo in Napa, California. After an overnight soak those peas cook up in about 10 minutes from the time they boil, and their flavor and texture are unlike any other brand I’ve tried. Rancho Gordo does a brisk mail order business especially in heirloom beans and I believe the black-eyed p[eas were a recent addition to their catalogue.
Anyway, this recipe is a winner!
Wonderful recipe, and exactly like the one at my local African/Middle Eastern market. I made a slight alteration, using a pickled red pepper as well as a fresh green pepper, and subbed the habanero with a jalapeno. Also, no cukes on hand so I did without, and no lime so I used lemon. I can’t help wondering how this would be with half a diced red onion added.
This an amazing salad. Great change of pace for New Year traditions. Did make a couple of tweaks. Added chopped banana peppers and black olives. With a touch of balsamic vinegar
Thank you for sharing, Patty!
This is absolutely delicious!!! It’s a simple, filling dish where the flavors really sing. I also love how affordable it is with black eyed peas being the star.