While I will probably always remain an omnivore, I’ve been trying to eat more vegetarian meals. Tonight we went with a black-eyed peas & cilantro/lime salad, roughly inspired by a Saveur recipe, that came out really nicely.
For 2 full servings
1/4 lb. dried black eyed peas
1/2 yellow onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
fresh cilantro (coriander)
fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 medium tomatoes
3 spring onions (scallions)
1 jalapeno, or some pickled jalapeno slices
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
Soak your black-eyed peas overnight or for several hours during the day. Cover with water in a pot with half a yellow onion and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover, letting simmer for about 30-35 minutes or until tender. When done, remove onion, drain in a colander and cool by running cold water over the peas. When fully drained, add to salad bowl.
Remove seeds from your green and red peppers and chop to desired style (I chopped them up about 1.5 to 2 inches long, 1/3 inch wide), then add to bowl.
Take a very large handful of fresh cilantro and loosely chop, removing any excess stalk, then add to bowl. Take a handful of flat leaf parsley (discard the stalks) and more finely chop, and add to bowl.
Cut 2 medium tomatoes into eighths, and add to bowl. De-seed a hot jalapeno pepper, then chop and add. If you don’t have access to fresh jalapenos, a handful of pickled jalapenos loosely chopped will still work well.
Thinly slice 3 spring onions (scallions) starting in the white and cutting as high into the green as you can (where the green is still fresh), and add. (Optional: slice up and add some red onion)
Squeeze the juice from 3 fresh limes over everything. Add 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (that is a guess — it could have been more since I never really measure my olive oil amounts; really you should do it to your own taste).
Mix up your salad, but try to be gentle so that you don’t mush up your peas. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes so that the peas start to take on the flavor of the lime and olive oil.
Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. I found that I used more salt than I normally use in a greens-based salad, so add salt carefully as usual, but be prepared to taste and add more.
We served this with Presidente beers (a Pilsner-style beer from the Dominican Republic). While I didn’t think of it at the time, some lightly toasted pita bread would also make a nice accompaniment.
P.S. this keeps overnight in the fridge really well (possibly even better) since it all marinates together.