Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Basil Dressing

Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Black-Eyed Pea Salad. Diana Rattray
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 6 Servings

This black-eyed pea salad is a tasty combination of peas and chopped vegetables with an easy basil vinaigrette. Black-eyed peas have long been a staple in the South, and this salad is a nice alternative to hoppin' John or plain cooked peas. 

This salad is delicious with fresh basil, but you can use dried leaf basil in a pinch. It's a tasty summer salad, and makes a nice side dish for a cookout or picnic. 

Serve the salad with steaks or grilled chicken.

What You'll Need

  • 3 cups black-eyed peas (canned or cooked black-eyed peas, drained)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup celery (finely chopped)
  • 1 small red bell pepper (seeded and finely chopped)
  • For the Basil Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons basil (fresh chopped or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 to 3 medium cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Garnish: fresh chopped basil or parsley

How to Make It

In a serving bowl combine black-eyed peas, 1/4 teaspoon salt, chopped onion, celery, and green pepper. Set aside.

In a small bowl or other container, whisk together the vinegar, basil, garlic, sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil until the dressing is well blended. You can use a blender for this step or put it all in a jar with a lid and shake to blend.

In a medium bowl, combine the black-eyed peas, the chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, and basil dressing.

Toss to blend.

Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Serve the salad garnished with fresh chopped parsley or basil, if desired.

Tips and Variations

  • Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of finely chopped or shredded carrot.
  • Add 1/2 cup of diced seeded tomato to the peas along with the chopped vegetables.
  • For smoky flavor, add a few strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled, to the salad.
  • Stir a few tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese into the salad.
  • Replace the chopped onion with chopped green onion or red onion.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley to the peas and vegetables.
  • Add about 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the dressing mixture.

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