Simple and hearty black eyed pea salad with chopped vegetables, fresh herbs, pomegranate arils, and a bright Mediterranean dressing. Keep it vegan or add a sprinkle of creamy feta to finish! The perfect lunch or side next to your favorite protein.
I don't know if eating black eyed peas at the start of a new year brings good luck, but I usually find myself up kicking off the month of January with a big pot of this Greek-style black eyed peas recipe. I make it more for the fact that it's such an appropriate, and satisfying warm-your-belly stew on a cold winter night. No one is ever mad about it!
But I will confess a little love for black eyed peas in general. These small savory beans with the one black eye are nutrient-dense, packing antioxidants and a good amount of fiber and protein. An luckily, these beans are cheap and convenient. You can find them in your local grocery store in the dry or canned beans aisles.
If you haven't cooked with them much, today's Mediterranean black eyed peas salad recipe is a great start! I make it often for lunch, to mix in a falafel bowl, or next to things like Italian baked Chicken, cod, salmon kabobs, or even rack of lamb (I mean, if you're going meaty, it's nice to have something bright to cut through the richness).
Black Eyed-Peas Salad
If we're going to give a can of beans a Mediterranean makeover, it's going to involve a bunch of bright ingredients--chopped veggies, fresh herbs, and definitely a light and tangy dressing. Optional here, but highly recommended, pomegranate arils (seeds) and pomegranate molasses (which you can replace with balsamic reduction if you need to). So let's walk through what's in it:
- Black eyed peas. I take a major shortcut by using canned black eyed-peas. If you prefer to cook them from scratch, start with ½ cup dry black eyed peas. Soak them in plenty of water overnight. Drain them from the soaking liquid, then put them in a pot and cover with water by 4 inches. Simmer, covered for 1 hour. When the beans are ready, drain them and let them cool for a bit before using them in this salad.
- Fresh veggies & herbs. I use grape or cherry tomatoes, English cucumber, green onions (both white and green parts), fresh mint leaves.
- Pomegranate arils. If you can, use seeds from a fresh pomegranate, they'll juicy and will add a nice sweet-tangy bite to this salad.
- Dressing. A combination of lemon juice, olive oil, and pomegranate molasses. No big deal if you have to use something like balsamic reduction, but if you can, give pomegranate molasses a try. It's a great condiment that I also use in my fattoush salad and in many other ways. The dressing is simply seasoned with a big dash of kosher salt, black pepper, and fresh garlic
- Feta cheese. This is optional, but a great addition if you have it.
Like my earlier bean salad, leftover black eyed peas salad recipe will keep well for 3 days or so, if properly stored in the fridge.
But if you want to prepare it ahead and keep it nice and fresh, you can chop up the veggies and herbs one night in advance and store them in the fridge in separate containers or in a covered bowl but do not mix them. You can also make the dressing and keep it in the fridge in a tightly-closed mason jar. When you're ready to serve, combine the beans, veggies and dressing in your serving bowl.
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Mediterranean Black Eyed Pea Salad
- 15 ounce can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 6 ounces grape tomatoes, chopped
- 1 English cucumber, trimmed and chopped
- ½ cup pomegranate arils, (arils of ½ pomegranate)
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 20 mint leaves, chopped
- Feta cheese, optional
- 2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- Kosher salt & black pepper
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the black eyed peas, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, pomegranate arils, onions, and fresh mint.
- Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the pomegranate molasses (or balsamic reduction), lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and a good dash of salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the black eyed pea salad. Mix well to combine. Finish with a sprinkle of feta cheese, if you like.
- Leftovers: store leftover black eyed pea salad in the fridge in a tight-lid container. If stored properly, it will keep well for 3 days or so.
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