I was born and raised in the Deep South, where it is a New Year’s tradition to eat black eyed peas for good luck in the new year. My mother always made sure to serve black eyes peas to our family that day. My all-time favorite way to eat them is after they have been cooked in a pot with a ham hock and then smothered with my granny’s homemade pepper relish.
A few years ago, I found another favorite way to serve black-eyed peas that is more acceptable to my non-Southern spouse’s palate. I have seen different versions of this recipe called all sorts of things like Southern Caviar, Texas Caviar and Black-Eyed Peas Salsa. No matter what you call it, it’s a delicious salsa that most people will enjoy. This recipe is from Paula Deen (the Southern Cooking Queen) and is quick and easy to make because it uses bottled salad dressing and canned black-eyed peas.
South Georgia Caviar Recipe
2 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained
1 15-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
1 10-ounce can Ro-Tel tomatoes
2 cups red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 8-ounce bottle Italian dressing
1 4-ounce jar chopped pimentos, drained
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir gently to combine. Refrigerate mixture overnight. Serve with tortilla chips. (Yield: 15 servings)