Some years ago I clipped a recipe from the LA Times for this bright black-eyed pea salad. The provenance of the recipe was listed as Senegal, from a book titled Yolele! Recipes from the Heart of Senegal by Pierre Thiam.
This salad is beautiful on the plate–a melange of pretty black-eyed peas, gleaming red peppers and crisp cucumbers. My only deviation from Thiam’s recipe was to use a diced jalapeno pepper in place of the habanero. I’ve made the recipe with both freshly-cooked (dried) black-eyed peas and canned ones with good results. As Thiam cautions in his recipe, be sure to let this salad sit at room temperature for at least an hour to allow the the flavors to mellow. This salad is best served at room temperature and is pretty served on a romaine leaf or in an avocado half.
Recipe: Black-Eyed Pea Salad
1/2 pound black-eyed peas, soaked in water to cover for 1 hour or two 15-ounce cans of black-eyed peas
1 quart water (if using dried peas)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Juice of 2 limes
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup best-quality olive oil
Directions: Rinse two 15-ounce cans of black-eyed peas and set the beans aside to dry. Alternatively, use the equivalent amount (1/2 pound dry peas) of freshly-boiled dried black-eyed peas in this recipe. If cooking dry beans, season a quart of cooking water with 1/2 teaspoon salt. I cooked my dry beans in a pressure cooker to shorten the cooking time to about half an hour.
Combine diced tomato, diced cucumber, diced red bell pepper and chopped green onions in a large bowl. Add chopped parsley, lime juice, chopped jalapeño, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt to drained beans. (Adjust seasonings to your taste.) Gradually add 2/3 cup good quality olive oil to vegetable mixture. Fold in black-eyed peas. Let ingredients rest for one-hour (at least) before serving to permit the flavors to marry.
Serve cold or at room temperature.
Adapted from a L.A. Times recipe
The link to the original recipe appears below.