Now that September has rolled around and we’re seeing the beginning of the end of summer, I thought it’d be a great idea to squeeze in a few more warm weather favorites before things get cold. Or if you live in Houston, before things get less-sweltering.
Not to mention the fact that this dish is ridiculously easy to prepare. That’s nice, too.
I don’t know how prevalent Texas Caviar is outside the state of Texas (I have an inkling that it’s not much), but it’s something that I always see around the grocery store ready-made counter and always mean to buy. However, once I thought about it, I realized that it’s actually a pretty straightforward dish and decided to give it a try myself.
Oh, and don’t ask my why it’s called “Texas Caviar.” It just is.
To start off, I grabbed two cans of black-eyed peas.
You could use dried, then soaked, then cooked beans, but that would defeat the purpose of this being so easy.
Then I added one large, chopped tomato…
…and then one can of corn.
Again, it’s all about ease here—not perfectly fresh ingredients. This literally takes about ten minutes to throw together.
After the corn comes a bit of green onion.
Then two jalapeños…
…with a nice bunch of chopped cilantro to round things out.
Mix that all up until it’s colorful and purdy.
When it comes to the dressing, I wanted to go with something simple—pretty much just an oil and vinegar mixture with a bit of lime, as opposed to a lot of recipes that I’ve seen which involve dousing the salad with Kraft Italian dressing. There’s technically nothing wrong with that option, I just have issues with Kraft Italian dressing. It involves marinating fajitas back in high school Spanish Club.
It’s a long story.
But, now that it’s in the forefront of my psyche, I feel the need to unburden myself. Back in high school, I was a member of Spanish Club for all four years—including one year spent as President—which included having to work fajita sales to raise money for the club’s causes, like paying for AP Spanish tests and hosting the Sadie Hawkins Dance. Well, each year before the actual fajita sales all us kids who were in upper level Spanish classes got dragged off to the cafe-gyma-torium to help set up the meat for marinating.
Now honestly, getting pulled out of class to cook is not such a bad trade in my book. However, these cooking sessions mainly involved peeling and chopping bags of onions (and ruining whatever makeup you had on thanks to the tears streaming down your face), squeezing lemons and limes over the meat until your fingers were puckered and pruney, shaking a bottle of industrial-sized seasoning over the citrusy fajitas (always my favorite task), and, finally, squirting dozens of jugs of Kraft Italian dressing over it all.
So you see, whenever I smell Kraft dressing, my mind immediately returns to the smell of raw meat, strong onions, and the ever-present, angsty desperation that permeates every high schooler’s existence. Like I said, I have issues with Kraft Italian dressing.
Therefore, in skillful avoidance of that substance, I added two tablespoons of olive oil to the bowl…
…with another two tablespoons of red wine vinegar…
…and the juice of half a lime for a nice burst of citrusy freshness.
Note the bandage on my paper-cut thumb.
For some final seasoning, I added some cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.
After giving it a final mix together, we’ve got something very yummy.
That’s it! Eat it on its own, on top of some salad greens, or even just with some nice, crunchy, salty tortilla chips. Any way you choose, this is a great, simple, summery dish that you can whip up in a flash.
Recipe by Moi
2 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 large tomato, roughly chopped
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 jalapeños, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
A few pinches of ground cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir and chill for several hours or overnight.
Serve cold on its own, with chips, on a salad, or any other way you want!