Recipe: KFC-Style Black Eyed Pea Salad (AKA Kentucky Caviar)

Black Eyed Pea Salad

KFC-Style Black Eyed Pea Salad

In the South, folks eat black eyed peas around New Years Day for good luck. Thus it occurred to us to take our very popular KFC Three-Bean Salad and modify it for a KFC-Style Black Eyed Pea Salad. The result was beyond satisfactory. Seasoned black eyed peas are often presented as “Texas Caviar” so you might as well call this “Kentucky Caviar”. Makes about 12 servings.

4 c cooked black eye peas, tender but not soft*
1 t salt
1/4 c chopped red or green bell pepper, or a mixture
1/4 c chopped white or red onion
1/4 c cider vinegar
2 T sugar
3/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 c vegetable oil

Method: place cooked black eyed** peas, chopped peppers and onions in a serving bowl. Add all dry ingredients to a jar, pour in vinegar, shake until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add oil, shake to emulsify, pour over bowl ingredients and mix gently with a spoon. Marinate at least 6 hours before serving, preferably overnight.

*Unless you have fresh black eyed peas available, start with dried. 1/2 pound dried peas will yield 4 cups cooked. Cover dried peas with a generous amount of water in a saucepan, bring to boil, turn off heat and let soak one hour or more. Add 1 t salt and more water to cover if needed, and simmer for 1 hour or until peas are tender but have not become mushy. Cool to room temperature and drain before using in salad.

**By the way, I am using this punctuation rendition because it seems the most accepted on the web, and it’s the name of the pop group. But I really don’t like it. “Black Eyed” implies that somebody put eyes in the peas, or made the existing eyes black, neither of which is true. Also, I’m on the fence as to whether the two words should be hyphenated or even be a single word, eg “blackeye”. Thoughts?

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