Saturday, December 8, 2007

Black-eyed Pea Salad

Black eyed peas have a very inviting look, so a salad prepared with them always looks festive. The recipe I used to make them is from Emeril, but I've made some changes to it.

Below you will find the original recipe, just in case you want to give it a try. But here are my changes.

I add 2 cups of small grain bulgur cooked with 1 1/2 cups of chopped onion.

I also add about 2 cups of diced tomatoes to the salad. And of course, I add some crumbled feta cheese if I'm not using bulgur.

And sometimes, instead of using bacon fat and olive oil, I use a pomegranate molasses dressing, which is a Turkish delicacy. You can find it at Middle Eastern markets. Use 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses, 3 Tablespoons olive oil and 2 garlic cloves. Just combine pomegranate molasses and oil in small bowl. Using garlic press, press garlic into mixture and whisk to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

In general I use less olive oil than the recipe suggests, and skip the jalapenos, and use pickled green peppers which are still hot, but crunchier.

This salad tastes much better if you serve it 2 days later. So keep in the fridge at least overnight.

I usually line the plate with romaine lettuce. It makes a great presentation and tastes good together.:) Yummy!!!


5 cups cooked and drained black-eyed peas
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled, fat reserved separately
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (1/2 medium onion)
1/2 cup red bell pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapenos
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To cook the bulgur heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add bulgur; stir 1 minute. Add 2 cups warm water, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Combine the black-eyed peas, crumbled bacon, 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat, and all remaining ingredients (except the tomatoes and the feta, if you are using them) in a large bowl, and toss well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, stirring occasionally.

Allow salad to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Just before serving, add the diced tomato and/or feta and stir to combine.

Makes 8 servings (6 cups)

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

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