This is a recipe for Texas Caviar that I adapted from the Joy of Cooking. Now, I’m not from the South and I don’t know much about the history of Texas Caviar but I can tell you for sure that this recipe has nothing to do with fish eggs! I think the story is that the black-eyed peas sort of look like caviar so it’s kind of like the “poor man’s caviar” or something like that.
Anyway, we don’t even call it Texas Caviar at our house, we call it “bean dip”. Actually, this stuff is most likely destined for an identity crisis because peas aren’t really beans are they?? But whatever you call it…it tastes really yummy!!
According to the cookbook this concoction is “a great stand-in for salsa or bean salad, and can be eaten immediately or refrigerated overnight. The longer it sits, the better it gets.” Personally, I like to eat it as a dip with Baked Scoops.
Here’s the ingredients I use (just combine them together in a large bowl):
- three 16 oz. cans black eye peas, rinsed and drained *
- one 6 oz. jar pimientos, chopped with juice
- one 14.5 can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- chopped fresh parsley
- chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- a few splashes of basic Vinaigrette to taste (I use Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing and Marinade)
As you begin to chop and combine the ingredients it begins to smell heavenly! A feast for the eyes, nose, and stomach!
Here’s some optional ingredients you can add (but I choose to omit):
- chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
- 3 fresh or canned jalapeno peppers, chopped
When I can find them I like to use Margaret Holmes Hoppin’ John with Black-Eyed Peas, Tomatoes, Onions, and Jalapenos. I will substitute them for one can of the regular black-eyed peas. But they can sometimes be hard to find. So far the only place I’ve been able to find them is Meijer, and even that can be hit or miss. I don’t have a Whole Foods or Trader Joes near me but you might be able to find them there. I also like to use the low-sodium black-eyed peas when I can find them.