Cue angels singing. “Texas Caviar” is a bean salad featuring black eye peas doused in vinaigrette. The original was invented by Helen Corbett, the James Beard of Texas, and popularized at the legendary Neiman-Marcus Zodiac Room. Today there are infinite recipe variations, but I will modestly proclaim this is the best. It’s based on our excellent KFC bean salad but with a couple of regional twists. Serves 12.
3 c cooked black eye peas (they should be cooked until just tender, not falling apart)
½ c chopped green/yellow pepper
1 finely chopped jalapeno with seeds and pith removed, about 1 T
3/4 c chopped onion, red preferred
3/4 c chopped celery
¼ c pimento or roasted red pepper, finely chopped (optional; this is for appearance, not taste)
6 T cider vinegar
6 T salad oil
3 T sorghum (highly recommended), honey or maple syrup
1 T fish sauce (use Worcestershire if you don’t have fish sauce)
1 ½ t salt
½ t black pepper
1 clove chopped garlic
Method: combine vinegar, oil, sorghum, fish sauce and salt and pepper in a serving bowl; whisk until emulsified. Mix in all other ingredients and toss to evenly distribute the dressing. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.