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Black-Eyed Pea and Beet Salad


We love black-eyed peas on New Year's Day.  This recipe is one way to lighten the New Year's meal.  Even better - enjoy this recipe all year round.  If red Belgian endive can't be found, frisee makes a great alternative.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked over
  • 3 large garlic cloves, 2 of them crushed and left in the skin, 1 of them minced
  • 1 onion cut in half
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 medium fennel bulb (about 1/2 pound), trimmed, quartered, cored and sliced very thin across the grain
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup Lambrusco Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Picual extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced 
  • 2 large beets - the color of your choice - cooked, peeled and julienned
  • 1 large yellow pepper (or 3 small ones)
  • 2 heads Belgian endive lettuce chopped

PREPARATION

  1. Place the black-eyed peas, whole crushed garlic cloves, halved onion and bay leaf in a large, heavy saucepan and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, add salt to taste, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until tender but not mushy, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, remove the lid and allow the black-eyed peas to cool for 30 minutes. Drain through a strainer. Remove and discard the onion. Remove the garlic cloves, squeeze the cooked garlic out of the skins and back into the black-eyed peas.  
  2. Transfer the black-eyed peas to a large bowl. Add the sliced fennel.
  3. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, tarragon, minced garlic, salt, pepper, chives, parsley, and olive oil. Toss 1/2 of the mixture with the beans and fennel. Refrigerate up to four hours or overnight.  
  4. When ready to serve - Layer half of endive on the bottom of a serving bowl. Add half of the bean mixture and then another layer of endive, yellow pepper, red onions and beets.
  5. Drizzle remaining dressing over entire salad. Let rest 30 minutes and serve.