It seems I am a Yankee through and through. It wasn’t until last January that I learned the folklore of black-eyed peas: in the south, they’re notorious for bringing good luck and prosperity in the new year. Legend has it that you’ll have the best chance of luck if you eat 365 black eyed peas on New Year’s Day. And while that’s a lot of peas (legumes, actually), they pack a major nutritional punch. They’re high in potassium and iron while being low in fat and sodium – just be sure to buy them dry and cook them yourself.
Since I’m always on the lookout for fun, festive, themed foods (it’s the almost-elementary school teacher in me) I made it a resolution, if you will, to make a black-eyed pea dish this New Year’s Eve. It was kismet, then, that our most recent cooking demonstration at the food pantry was a Black-Eyed Pea Salad.
This recipe is simple, totally versatile, and delicious warm or cold. Switch out the vegetables, mix up the oils and vinegars, whatever you want – it’s your new year! Serve it up with collard greens and homemade cornbread for a festive New Year’s feast.
Black-Eyed Pea Salad
- 1 1/2 cups black-eyed peas, cooked
- 3/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup scallion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
- Combine black-eyed peas, bell pepper, celery, onion and scallion in a large bowl, set aside.
- Combine salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and hot sauce; whisk until blended. Pour dressing over black-eyed pea mixture, tossing gently to coat. Store in the refrigerator; the longer it sits, the better the dressing and flavors are able to absorb.