Black-eyed peas (frijoles de carita or frijoles de cabecita - beans with little facea) were first cultivated in Africa. Black-eyed peas are very popular in certain regions of South America. In Brazil, street vendors sell black-eyed pea fritters called acaraje, which are usually stuffed with seafood and other fillings. Acarajé are the Brazilian version of the Nigerian bean fritters called akara. Black-eyed peas are also important in Colombian cuisine, especially on the coast.This black-eyed pea salsa makes a great appetizer for New Years, when many people eat black-eyed peas for good luck, but it's delicious anytime. Serve it with tortilla chips or little toasts. Add any leftovers to salads, or to soups. The salsa tastes best after it has marinated for a few hours.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 2-3 cups salsa
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
- 2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (fresh, dried, or canned)
- 3 green onions
- 1 red bell pepper
- 4 celery stalks
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
- If using fresh or frozen black-eyed peas, cook them in lightly salted water until just tender. Drain and cool. If starting with dried black-eyed peas, soak them overnight, then cook them in lightly salted water until just tender. Drain and cool. If using canned black-eyed peas, drain and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, vinegar, sugar, cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Dice the celery and the red bell pepper. Chop the white and green parts of the green onions. Mince the jalapeño pepper (removing the seeds and white parts first).
- Add the black-eyed peas and chopped vegetables to the bowl. Toss well with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Let salsa marinate for 3-4 hours in the refrigerator for best flavor. Toss with cilantro just before serving.