Carolina Caviar: Blackeyed Peas…not just for New Year’s Day!

Originally published July 3, 2013 MMM Foodies

 I’m still trying to salvage blogs from my old  blog site…the ones that weren’t erased! The following blog was written from a Summertime point of view ; however, this dish makes a great little chip or cracker topper at holiday gatherings and parties as an appetizer and it’s a interesting alternative to the “Hoppin’ John” New Year’s dish. Wait! Don’t go! I used to hate black-eyed peas too! Read on!

Carolina Caviar

Happy Summer, ya’ll! Are you looking for a nice, cool side dish that doesn’t contain mayonnaise for your picnic or cookout? This is a great little dish that’s quick, easy, vegetarian, healthy and just darn tasty! I’ll just get this out of the way up front: I’m not a vegetarian myself, but I do have to cook for a vegetarian; so, I wind up creating a lot of vegetarian dishes. If you wanted to crumble some bacon into this dish…well, yum! You could even substitute bacon drippings for some or all of the olive oil, but then you totally blow that “healthy” aspect!

Now, before you bail on this recipe, I have to tell you: Until about 6 months ago, I thought that I HATED black-eyed peas. Seriously, a spoonful of black-eyed peas on New Years Day (for good luck) and collard greens (for prosperity) was about all I could handle. Yuck! But I decided to try this “Cowboy Caviar” recipe that I found. I made a few tweaks for my own preferences and holy moley! A spoonful of Carolina Caviar on a Ritz or Townhouse cracker is delicious! (Since I made this my own with a few changes and since I am far from Cowboy status, I changed the name!) It would also be good with a bite of crusty bread or served brushcetta-style (cold or warm).

For your Summer meals, I think this would be a great addition to a picnic or cookout meal. Without mayonnaise, the worry of food poisoning is off the table…literally! Chill it well before serving and this is a terrific choice to accompany burgers, ribs, barbecue or any grilled meat. If you are going vegetarian, it goes well with grilled corn, grilled squash (or that squash and onion bake in my earlier post!) or a good veggie burger. So, are you willing to try it? Can’t we all just give peas a chance? Enjoy!



1 can Black-eyed Peas, drained & rinsed

1 clove Garlic, minced fine (or use garlic press)

1/4 cup (generous) Onion, chopped fine, Vidalia or other sweet onion

1-2 T. Fresh Herbs, chopped fine, such as basil, oregano and/or marjoram

3 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 T. Balsamic Vinegar

1 t. Honey

1 t. Dijon Mustard

Pinch each Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste.

Caviar ingredient preparation

Carolina Caviar & Dressing

     Directions: In a small, non reactive mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk together and then slowly drizzle in olive oil while continuing to whisk until incorporated and emulsified. Set aside. In a separate, larger mixing bowl, add the black-eyed peas, garlic, onion and herbs and stir to combine. Stir in vinaigrette and mix until evenly distributed. Optional add-ins: raw or roasted red bell pepper, halved grape tomatoes and/or grilled corn. Make it your own, like I did! Enjoy!


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