This is a great little salad to use some of your garden produce that is so fresh and good right now. It's a really easy salad to put together and it lasts in the fridge for a couple of days. The base for this recipe is the black eyed pea.
As I have mentioned before, I am not crazy about black eyed peas when they are just served by themselves. I tend to believe the story about why southerners even began eating black eyed peas in the first place. The story goes that back during the Civil War, the union soldiers burned and pillaged just about everything in the South that could be used to sustain the southern troops, including crops and other food sources. They left the black eyed peas alone because they were used basically to feed farm animals and not humans. Of course, southerners are known to make use of what they have. They know how to cook the most unsavory foods and make them really tasty. The black eyed pea provided nourishment during that time when everything else was just about gone. This is one of the theories about why we eat them on New Year's Day for good luck.
Black eyed peas are actually full of good nutrients and when mixed with other ingredients and spiced up a bit, they can be tasty. This salad does wonders for the homely black eyed pea. Here is what you will need for it:
2 (15 oz.) cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed (you can cook dried ones for this)
1 medium size sweet onion, diced (Vidalia is best)
1 medium size cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 green or red bell pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced (I used one red and one yellow)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (could use 2 tsp. dried)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (could use 2 tsp. dried)
2 Tbs. jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (could use red wine vinegar or a cider vinegar)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sugar
After you have drained the black eyed peas in a colander and rinsed them well, chop and dice all of the other vegetables and herbs. If you don't have access to the fresh basil and parsley, you can substitute dried herbs, but the fresh is so much better.
Once it's all diced, place all of the ingredients in a salad bowl.
Whisk together the olive oil, rice wine vinegar (or some other mild vinegar), the salt, pepper, celery salt, garlic powder, and sugar. Pour over the salad ingredients, toss together and chill for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.