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Archive for July 4th, 2006

Recipe: Blackeyed Pea Salad

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

Blackeye SaladAs much as I think of my weblog as a primarily-knitting adventure, I do try to mix it up, and include as many creative artforms as I can. My theme is “Art as an everyday attitude” and this can include music, dance, knitting, performing arts such as theatre, poetry (which can be both writing/word arts and performance), gardening, and food. (And more, of course… don’t limit art.)

I think I talk about food less than most of my other subjects. But let me tell you, I get the most response out of my recipe entries than anything else.

So… yes, I could write about we dancers at the Fourth of July parade. (I did go, it was my first venture out of the house for more than an hour since Saturday… got totally wiped out from the heat after being wiped out by that virus for several days, but had a great time. It was especially great to see my mom there waving to us from the sidelines!) I will share photos of this at another time.

Or I could tell you about the two wonderful music parties we attended on the Tuesday holiday. And they were truly wonderful, with totally different music and different friends, all great musicians. I forgot my camera during the party phase of the day, which is a crying shame since there were some very photogenic moments.

But I think I know what you want more than that. You’d like a recipe. Yes, Teri, I do have a granola bar recipe in the works and it’s looking really good… but today I’ll give you the Blackeyed Pea Salad that I took to the pot luck dinner at the first party. It’s really tasty, a lot like a pasta/macaroni type salad but with mild-tasting, smooth-textured canned blackeyed peas.

If you have not tried blackeyes yet, they are much nicer than many of the beans that I grew up with. You can not know how good they might be unless you try, right? And let me tell you, canned beans are instant food… no cooking, no soaking, no preparation. Gotta love that!

Friends who measure in metric… I always include metric in my patterns and when I talk temperature here… please forgive me not translating my recipes. In the case of this recipe, imagine a teacup as a cup and teaspoon and soup spoon as tsp and Tbsp respectively. Since this is a sort of make-it-as-you-go recipe, estimating will still create you a great product without exact translation.

LynnH’s Blackeyed Pea 4th of July Salad

Dressing Ingredients
2 Tbsp Orange Juice (sub half/half Lime or Lemon Juice & water if necessary)
1/4 c Good Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
(if you really don’t like this flavor, try walnut oil)
1/8 tsp Coarsely-Ground Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Celery Seeds (optional)
1/2 tsp Dry Dill Weed (or a sprig of fresh dill if you have it)

Salad Ingredients
2 cans Vegetarian Blackeyed Peas, Chilled
(Bush’s brand is the best, in my opinion, they can from fresh & the texture is smooth)
1 can Small Black California Olives, pitted, chilled
1-1/4c (or more) Chopped Crunchy Vegetables (more color is better)
(I used carrots and orange bell peppers today, but try celery or kohlrabi or anything fresh and local that looks good at the market.)

Optional Garnish
Small Leaf Lettuce or Spinach Leaves
Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half

Instructions
Combine orange juice with seasonings. Blend together with fork or small whisk. Set aside to reconstitute spices while assembling salad.

Rinse blackeyed peas in cold water, allow to drain. Drain olives. Chop vegetables. Place peas and vegetables in 2-1/2 qt serving bowl (it’s more fun if you use a colorful or retro bowl, but that’s totally optional). Crush olives with your fingers and place in the same bowl.

Add oil to juice/seasoning combination, and blend together with fork or whisk. Pour over bean/veggie/olive combination, and toss until fully coated.

If you wish, embellish/garnish the bowl with small greens, cherry tomatoes, or anything else edible and colorful that sounds beautiful to you.

If you started with chilled cans of beans and olives, you can dig in and eat right away. If not, chill for an hour or more before garnishing the bowl and taking it to the gathering of your choice.

Now, my friends… you must know if you read here much, that I’m a folk-knitter and a folk-cook. In other words, I change things, I do them differently each time, I make things up as I go. So please… if you don’t like black olives, leave them out or substitute more veggies instead. If you like spicy, double the black pepper or add jalapeño juice. If you love another certain seasoning in your salads, consider trying that. Add pine nuts, perhaps, or sun-dried tomatoes, or something else I could never imagine. Take the idea and run with it. I never make it the same way twice, so why should you?

But I promise, I really did measure and make it exactly this way today. I know this version is lovely, if you don’t feel like being adventurous.

Enjoy!