Let’s make a bowl of amazing food like these Mediterranean Mediterranean black-eyed pea salad with 2 olive oil dressings. Is it a salad? Yes, it is! Is it a main meal/side dish/appetizer? Yes, it is! Is it delicious? No reason to ask! It is a Mediterranean recipe. Of course, it is delicious and healthy. Because the Mediterranean way of eating is all about whole food and, guess what! Whole, seasonal food is amazing.
To celebrate the start of the autumn, I am sharing an easy, versatile, packed-with-flavor recipe based on healthy ingredients and flavored with Mediterranean herbs. Easy because these days are busy as hell not only for families with children at school but for everyone. We have to adjust from summer laziness to “business as usual”, hopefully without surprises.
THE BASIC INGREDIENT
BLACK EYED-PEAS …WHAT? (NOT THE BAND, GUYS!)
Black-eyed peas are an amazing ingredient to include in your monthly meal planning. In the United States, it is related traditionally to New Year’s Day for good luck but in the Mediterranean, we consume them yearly, we absolutely love them, and benefit our tasting buds and health.
They belong to the legume family which is an extremely nutrient-rich food category. Just a quick reminder that beans, lentils, chickpeas, yellow and green split peas are part of the legume family too. They give variety and so many delicious combinations. Check out the above links for the recipes and you will see what I mean.
In an attempt to describe them, they have a firm texture and a nutty flavor. Totally yummy!
I wouldn’t exaggerate if I told you that these cute little gems are a nutrient bomb. This simple and easy black-eyed pea salad is an excellent source of fiber, complex carbs, essential vitamins, and minerals. They are a fantastic protein source ingredient in your pantry that will give you more options for more nonmeat meals.
SWEET! HOW TO EAT AND STORE THEM?
Their excellent nutritional profile makes them both a protein food and a vegetable. That being said, the sky is the limit here. From this Mediterranean black-eyed salad to a hearty bowl of stew for those cold nights when your body asks for a soothing meal. Additionally, I like to serve them as a side dish and it is an amazing appetizer and Greek mezze plate all the same.
I particularly enjoy the convenience of this ingredient. I usually make a bunch (1 pound package of dried beans) and keep about half to make the salad below and half to make a nice stew. Another trick is to keep a small amount (let’s say a handful) of plain beans just to add them to another dish. Let’s say make another quick salad for the busy weeknights or add them in a soup, or stew just to give another tasteful ingredient and interesting texture.
Keep your salad for up to 2 days and the plain quantity for about 4 days in the fridge in well-sealed glass food containers.
ARE THEY EASY TO COOK THEM?
So easy that will amaze you. The way I see it, black-eyed peas are like culinary white canvas. The combinations are endless and they go with everything.
PURCHASE THE BEST PRODUCT
To start with, if you purchase packaged dried beans, check out the production and/or expiration date. The fresher the better. If you purchase them in bulk, choose a place with a high legume turnover. Keep in mind that generally old dried beans take way longer time to cook and sometimes you wait for hours without any success at all. Bummer for sure!
TO SOAK OR NOT TO SOAK (THEM)?
It is highly recommended to soak dried legumes for better digestion. So, if you taste legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas) for the first time most likely they are too heavy for you to digest, so you have to soak them. Plus, the soaking procedure reduces the cooking time which is always a bonus for everyone.
In my home, I skip overnight soaking for black-eyed peas and I only boil them and disregard the water BUT this is what I do because I know we digest them without problems. Generally speaking, it’d better be safe than sorry. Especially if it is your first time and it is absolutely mandatory to soak them if you share them.
When they are ready, let them cool a little bit and start creating your dish.
DRIED OR CANNED?
You love the convenience of those canned beans, I know, I know. Even if it is extremely difficult to find canned black-eyed peas around here (in the Mediterranean area we prepare legumes ourselves), I totally get the labor-free and time-saving of canned food.
However, it’s good to know that most canned beans contain a significant amount of sodium (salt) so it would be better to look for low-sodium versions, drain and rinse the product really well to lower the salt content, and preferably no to add salt to your dish. As always, you need to taste before serving and you will probably find out that canned beans are salty anyway.
To begin with, soak overnight, rinse, boil once for a few minutes, rinse again, and boil with fresh water until tender. Ta tahhh, fresh beans without sodium. It needs some time but it is mostly waiting time, no hands-on cooking.
This recipe is a basic black-eyed pea salad with simple and easy-to-find ingredients. I am sure that you have most of them (if not all of them) in your pantry and fridge right now. Therefore, you have only to purchase the beans and your meal is halfway done.
While you cook the beans, prepare the veggies and dressing. Then mix everything together and serve!
You may make my easy black-eyed pea salad or your own version from almost whatever you find in your fridge and pantry.
More vegetables: bell pepper, carrot, tomato, broccoli, eggplant, artichokes, garlic, leeks, mushrooms, capers, olives, etc
More herbs: thyme, oregano, cumin, rosemary, sage, coriander, etc
The combinations are endless and it is so fun to experiment, taste, and add more, new flavors to your meals.
Every time I prepare this salad I face the same dilemma. What dressing to choose for this salad? What the heck! If I cannot decide between my two favorite dressings let’s share both of them.
So, a question for you. Do you like lemon or vinegar? Either way, I’ve got you covered. Jump to the recipe card and you will find two delicious dressings not only for this salad but for any kind of salad.
For both of them, the main ingredient is olive oil of course, and nothing but olive oil. The one and only choice for fat in Mediterranean Greek cuisine.
MY MEDITERRANEAN BLACK-EYED PEA SALAD IS READY!
Do you fancy a quick meal for dinner tonight or maybe a salad, a side dish, or an appetizer? Do you have to meal prep for the week ahead? Are you going to attend a potluck or do you have to prepare for that picnic and you want to serve something that will make an appeal?
It is an excellent lunch box for work or school too
Whatever you want to do this recipe covers all the bases. It can sit either in your fridge in a well-sealed glass food container for 2 days or on a summer picnic table without wilting, so it’s brilliant not to mention an original potluck dish.
Alternatively, you may keep the beans in a food container and dressing separately and mix the quantity you need every time you want to serve the salad. This trick will stock this bean salad for at least 2 more days. Ready to serve salad for 4 days? Count me in!
As always enjoy this dish with a glass of wine. A white citrus-flavored Assyrtico or a fruity Moschofilero would be my best recommendation. Chin-chin.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS SALAD
This salad pairs well with a variety of other Mediterranean foods.
I particularly enjoy them with roasted vegetables, the famous Greek Briami. The smoky flavors of roasted vegetables complement the black-eyed pea salad nicely. Now that I’ve mentioned smoky, an excellent combo that enhances all flavors is this eggplant dip. It isn’t exactly a dip. It is more of a salad and maybe a side dish. It sounds complicated? Well, I guess it isn’t always black and white even in cooking. Hit the link and see for yourself.
Furthermore, another way to pair this salad is with warm pita bread or pita chips on the side. They can be used to scoop up the salad or enjoyed separately.
One of the best pairings is with grilled meat and fish. : If you want to make it a more substantial meal, serve it at your BBQs because the protein will complement the salad and will make it more filling. More meat and fish dishes to have in mind are these luscious chicken meatballs or this traditional lamb dish. As far as the fish is concerned my proposition is this baked cod.
Enjoy your Mediterranean feast!
If you make this recipe, you have to let me know! I absolutely love your feedback. This is a huge motivation for me and it keeps 30daysofgreekfood’s kitchen alive. Bookmark this recipe and leave your rate and comment below, or take a photo with your Mediterranean black-eyed peas and tag me on Instagram with #30daysofgreekfood and Facebook with @30daysofgreekfood.
Thank you for your support!
Mediterranean Black-Eyed Pea Salad
- 1½ cup (250g) blackeyed peas, dried
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups (1lt) water
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 2 roasted bell peppers, chopped
- 5 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- 5 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped or 1/2 tablespoon dried
- 3 tablespoons fresh spearmint (or 1 1/2 fresh mint), chopped or 1/2 tablespoon dried
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
#1 dressing with lemon
- ⅓-½ cup (80-100ml) olive oil
- lemon zest from 1 lemon
- 1 small lemon, the juice
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- ½ garlic, minced (optional)
- Red chili pepper (optional)
#2 dressing with red wine vinegar
- ⅓-½ cup (80-100ml) olive oil
- 4 tablespoons (30ml) red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- ½ garlic, minced (optional)
- Red chili pepper (optional)
- Sort the beans and remove any stones or debris. Place them in a big bowl and cover with tap water. The beans will double in size so you need enough water. Soak overnight *
- Rinse them and place them in a pot. Cover with fresh water, place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil for a few minutes. Disregard the water and rinse the beans.
- Place in the same cleaned pot with 4 cups of fresh water. Add the bay leaf. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. After 20 minutes season with salt and simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste a bite and give them more time to soften according to your preference.
- Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables and the herbs and set aside.
- Choose the dressing of your choice (or make both and serve at taste). In a small bowl mix well all the ingredients from the dressing of your choice. Set aside.
- Place the beans in a big bowl, add the vegetables and herbs and toss until well mixed. Serve this right away or keep in the fridge in a well-sealed glass food container for up to 2 days.