Monday, May 01, 2006

a favorite springtime salad

So, when's the last time you ate black-eyed peas (also known as cowpeas, crowder peas, Southern pesa, and many other names)? Were they cooked a long time, with bacon and vinegar and lots of grease? Did you know my mother? Because that's how she prepared them, and I have to admit, it's probably what predisposed me toward liking black-eyed peas. Almost anything cooked with bacon gets my vote. So, when I saw a recipe in Better Homes & Gardens called Spring Greens and Black-eyed Pea Salad, I took my predisposition (and a sunny one it is! ) right into the kitchen and got busy.

Now, you may never have had black-eyed peas, or you may have had them prepared in a way that caused you to swear off them. It's OK with me if you decide to substitute some other firm bean in this recipe. I think black beans would be yummy, although they would certainly change the appearance of the salad quite a bit. But perhaps, just perhaps, you might like to try it the first time with the cooked black-eyed peas, just to be sure you still don't care for them. Because this salad just might change your mind, and isn't it always a good idea to have a widening repertoire of items on the "I'll eat it" list, especially if it falls into that oh-so-healthy legume category?

So, about this salad: not only are the components tres compatible, but the Caramelized Sweet Onion Vinaigrette is worth a look just by itself and, if you're like me, will be used for more than just this salad.So, without further, ado, here's the recipe. There's a printable version, sans comments, here.

Black-Eyed Pea and Spring Green Salad with Caramelized Sweet Onion Vinaigrette


1 sweet onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 T cooking oil
1/2 c salad oil
1/2 c cider vinegar
1 T honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper (I prefer to use white pepper, it's milder and prettier)

  • In a medium to large covered skillet, cook the onion in the oil over medium-low heat for 13 to 15 minutes, or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. Uncover; cook and stir over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until onions are golden. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Stir in onion mixture.
  • Cover and chill up to 1 week. Makes about 11/2 cups.


1 16-ounce package frozen black-eyed peas
8 green onions, washed and trimmed
8 cups mixed spring salad greens
2 cups French breakfast radishes or small radishes, washed, trimmed, and cut in large pieces
coarse salt

  • In a large saucepan, cook blackeyed peas, covered, in lightly salted boiling water for 40 minutes or until tender. Drain. Rinse with cold water until beans feel cold. Drain well. (You have my permission to use heavily salted water ... that's what I do! )
  • Place whole green onions on a platter and arrange salad greens on top.
  • Top with radishes.
  • Spoon peas over radishes.
  • Sprinkle all with coarse salt.
  • Serve with dressing.

Per serving

calories: 246
total fat: 16g
saturated fat: 2g
monounsaturated fat: 7g
polyunsaturated fat: 6g
cholesterol: 0mg, sodium: 172mg
carbohydrate: 23g
total sugar: 6g
fiber: 4g
protein: 6g
vitamin C: 19%
calcium: 5%
iron: 11%

This is my entry for Sweetnicks' Antioxidant Rich Foods (ARF) Tuesday, as well as the Virtual Recipe Club salad roundup. If you're into good eats, you don't want to miss those two sites tomorrow!


Cate said...

Beautiful picture!

My Garage Guys LLC said...

This salad is great with bbq and smoked foods and just gets better the longer it marinades.