Black-eyed peas are a part of our African legacy. In this recipe they are marinated with vinegar and hot chile to create a savory dish that is also known as Texas caviar. The black-eyed peas can be eaten as a condiment or a side dish. Here, they are served in a lettuce cup as an appetizer. To save time during the busy holiday, this recipe calls for canned black-eyed peas, though the dish can also be made with fresh or frozen peas. It takes on a festive air with the addition of dark purple, red, and green bell pepper. Note that the black-eyed peas must marinate overnight.
2 cans (1 pound each) black-eyed peas, drained
1/4 cup minced dark purple bell pepper
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1/4 cup minced green bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 small onion, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 branches fresh thyme, crumbled
1 head Boston lettuce, separated into 8 leaves
Pour the drained black-eyed peas into a medium-sized bowl and add the bell peppers, garlic, and onion. In another bowl, combine the vinegars, olive oil, and thyme to form the marinade. Pour the marinade over the black-eyed pea mixture, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight so that the flavors blend, stirring occasionally.
When ready to serve, place the lettuce leaves on individual plates, spoon the black-eyed peas onto the lettuce, and serve.
A Kwanzaa Keepsake
By Jessica B. Harris
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created December 1998; modified November 2006
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