Black Eyed Pea Salad
Not sure about you, but it already seems as if the New Year was ages ago. Last week I featured Collards with Bacon served up as part of my lucky New Year foods. Another among lucky foods prepared on this hopeful holiday always includes some version of black eyed peas. With the neighbors behind me having just returned from the holiday’s in Florida, I decided to prepare Black Eyed Pea Salad with the plan of sharing half the batch as a sort of welcome home while sending good luck their way.
Initially, I planned on using bacon in this Black Eyed Pea Salad. In fact, I set aside four crispy, cooked strips. As it turned out, good luck was already heading my way when the four cooked strips, not mentioning any names here, got snatched up in my kitchen, ultimately making things rather copacetic in the preparation upon later learning that two of the three high school- age daughters in the house behind me have become vegetarian or vegan over the year. Lucky me.
Turns out, the girls loved the Black Eyed Pea Salad hastening me to share the recipe. Hope you enjoy this unintentionally lucky vegetarian, vegan salad pick of the day. Of course, if you prefer you can always add in some crispy, cooked strips of bacon, but chop them up finely before anyone coming through your kitchen snatches them up.
- one pound dried black eyed peas, rinsed, picked through for any debris, drained, covered with cold water by a few inches and soaked overnight
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 red onion, peeled, cut in half
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 small or 1 large carrot, peeled
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 small red onion, peeled
- 1 large clove garlic, cut in half
- 12 large kale leaves, removed from center stems, chopped
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, more or less
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- rind from one tangelo or orange
- juice from 2 very juicy tangelos or oranges
- few pinches or more coarse kosher salt
- few grinds fresh cracked black pepper
- 4 slices crisp cooked bacon, chopped (optional)
- Preparing the Black Eyed Peas: Drain peas after soaking overnight, rinse, and refill clean pot with cool water covering black eyed peas by a few inches, drop in one cinnamon stick, along with red onion halves stuck with whole cloves. Turn burner to high and bring black eyed peas to boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until peas are tender, approximately 40 minutes to an hour, drain beans, remove cinnamon stick and onion with cloves, discard
- Transfer beans to a large bowl or serving dish, let cool to room temperature.
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse carrots and celery to a confetti texture, not mushy, use a spatula to transfer to a large sized bowl, coarse chop the onion and add to the food processor along with the garlic, pulse to a fine dice then use a spatula to combine with the carrots and celery
- In a small sauce pan, cook kale in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, drain, cool, squeeze out any liquid with paper toweling, stir into the vegetable mixture
- Season cooled black eyed peas with a couple good pinches salt, stir through, tumble into the vegetable mixture, add in the orange rind, stir gently to combine, pour in vinegar, olive oil, and orange juice, salt and pepper, stir, check seasoning, adjust to taste additionally adding in a bit more orange juice if desired
- Fold through chopped bacon, if using.
Besides the cooking method of the black eyed peas, the key to this preparation is using the juices of a very fresh, bursting with flavor orange, tangelo, or blood orange. Keep some juice aside for the refreshing salad if serving at a later time and again adjust salt seasoning before serving