A Light Summer Southern Side Dish

By Kathy Smith

Summer-time Summer black eyed peas generally are well known within the Southern US. In the summer-time, you can get pints of black eyed peas in the supermarket fruit and vegetable aisle. Throughout the remainder of the twelve months, black eyed peas is available dried out, tin canned or quick-frozen. These healthy peas may be used in nearly about everything: stew, chopped salads, vegetarian fritters or or as a dip.

In the summertime, I quite like them fresh from the farmer's market in a refreshing salad and through the chillier months, I really like to make the well-known dish, "Hoppin' John", boiling dried black eyed peas.

This particular summer salad black eyed peas meal makes nearly 6 helpings.

Salad Ingredients:

Approximately 2 lbs of clean black eyed peas (or, 2 12-15 ounce jars, drained; or, 1 1/2 cups of dried black eyed peas that have been left to sit in water in a boiling pot overnight)

A couple of bell peppers (I like 1 yellow and the other red adding more color, however any 2 bell peppers is going to do)

2 green onions finely chopped

One cup of white or yellow corn kernels, drained or fresh from two pieces of corn)

2 medium garlic cloves finely chopped

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsps . of wine vinegar

Two or more tablespoons of fresh natural herbs (parsley, chives, oregano, chervil, thyme, etc. Anything you have available)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp of pepper

Chop up the red and green peppers into little, bite sized pieces and take away all of the seeds. Set aside.

If you work with fresh white or yellow corn, here is a quick way to get the kernels soft when pierced: place just about 1 inch of water within a pot big enough to fit your peeled corn stalks. After the corn is cleaned and de-silked, put the corn ears straight in the pot of shallow boiling water. Bring to a boil after which reduce temperature to med. and cover pot with a pot lid. The corn will quickly cook in about three minutes. Employ a knife to help remove your kernels from your cob.

In a large bowl, blend the cooking oil, vinegar, natural herbs, and 1/2 tsp of each of pepper and salt. Once they are combined, put in the black eyed peas, green onion, bell peppers, corn kernels, and finally garlic. Blend until the vinigrette at the bottom of the bowl has covered the pea and veggie mixture. Dish up and allow family to add more salt or pepper to personal preference.

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