I've cooked black-eye peas different ways, but this is my favorite. It might horrify our Southern readers to imagine black-eye peas that haven't been cooked with fatback, or at least sprinkled with bacon, but this is delicious, easy to prepare, vegetarian, and actually fairly healthy! It's not just for New Year's either.
A few years ago, a friend asked me to bring a salad to a winter get together. She suggested some ingredients, but let's face it, in most of the US, store tomatoes in the winter are fairly blah. The ones sold on the vine are a little bit better, but still not the same as summer tomatoes. We won't even talk about the $5 red peppers! One of the pluses about this recipe is that it makes use of fresh veggies and fruit available now.
Winter Salad with Black-Eye Peas and Spinach
1 12 oz bag frozen black-eye peas
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (increase to 2 if you like a strong tang)
1 tablespoon mustard
1 good sized garlic clove, minced
fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 red onion
clementines (if you hate oranges, substitute sliced pears)
Cook the black-eye peas according to the package.
Whisk together olive oil, honey, vinegar, and mustard, and stir in garlic. Pour 1/2 of the dressing over cooled black eye-peas and turn a bit to coat. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight.
Arrange spinach leaves on a platter, or on individual salad plates. Stir the black eye-peas (I think they're best if they come close to room temperature first) and mound in the center of the spinach. Slice the onion into very thin slices and scatter over the spinach. Peel the clementines and arrange on the spinach. Drizzle remaining dressing over the clementines and spinach.