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.
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 1/2 limes, juiced)
1 cup chopped parsley
1/2 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 1/3 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.
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