I’m not really a fan of black-eyed peas. Being from the south, they are a fairly common legume and make their appearance in plenty of dishes, the most famous being Hoppin John'. But all I remember of these two-toned beans is a big mushy pile of flavorless blech. I clearly haven’t had good black-eyed peas in my life.
So I set out to change these recollections with an updated dish. Now, I like a good, vinegary bean salad. Lentils vinaigrette--hell yes. Homemade white bean salad with tuna--now you’re talking. And what I came up with was a healthier version of black-eyed peas with a few crunchy veggies, and an herbed vinaigrette with plenty of oomph. The great news is that you can make this a day or two in advance, and then just pull it out for your New Year’s Day feast. Or eat it anytime for lunch or as a side dish for dinner.
To keep things easy, and make this quickly, I used canned beans. But if you want to take the time to start with dried beans, you’ll need 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, soaked in cold water overnight. The next day, drain and rinse the soaked beans. Add to a large saucepan, then add enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender but not mushy, about 45 minutes (the amount of time it takes to boil beans can vary greatly depending on the age and type of bean, so taste as you go). Drain the beans and run under cold water. Let drain, then transfer to a serving bowl. Let cool.
Recipe: Healthy Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Makes 6 servings
- 2 (15.5-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed and drained again
- 1 roasted red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 large or 2 medium stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Put the drained and rinsed beans in a large serving bowl. Add the roasted bell pepper, celery, red onion, and parsley.
- To make the vinaigrette, in a jar, shake together all the vinaigrette ingredients plus a pinch each of salt and pepper. Alternatively, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl.
- Pour vinaigrette over the bean mixture. Stir to combine, cover, and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. (The salad can be prepared up to 1 day in advance.)
- Taste and season with salt and pepper, then serve.