Make Texas Caviar to serve a crowd at spring, summer parties

Posted on April 1, 2013 

Please don't ban me from visiting Texas but I never really enjoyed Texas Caviar until my sister, Anne, made a version of the popular black-eyed pea dip over the weekend. For me, the delicate black eyed pea flavor is too often drowned out by too much bottled Italian dressing. Not so with Anne's variation. After seeing several postings on Pinterest, Anne made up her own variation, keeping our family's tastes in mind. She replaced the commonly used yellow onion with a red one and omitted the cilantro.

A quick and easy-to-make vinaigrette that uses red wine vinegar and olive oil is much healthier than a bottled dressing. Add a little dried oregano and crush it in your fingers as you sprinkle it into the dressing and you'll add a little Italian taste.

The beauty of Texas Caviar is that you can increase or decrease the amounts of the vegetables that you use and add your own favorites. The only real rule it to use some black-eyed peas. Below is the version that Anne made, incorporating what she'll add next time. For example, adding a bit of pepper and oregano to the dressing. I think it would be tasty to add two or three tablespoons of red wine vinegar to the dressing, too.

Anne's family Texas Caviar

Dip

2 15-ounce cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1 red pepper, seeds and pith removed, diced

1 medium sized tomato, diced

2 15-ounce cans corn, rinsed and drained

1/2 red onion, diced

2 small jalapenos, very finely diced

3 cloves garlic, very finely diced

Dressing

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

Combine all the ingredients listed under "dip" in a large bowl. Leave room to stir! In a separate bowl whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Pour over the veggies and mix gently until well incorporated. Store in the fridge for at least a couple of hours so the flavors blend together. Store in the fridge overnight for the tastiest results.

Serve with tortilla chips or crackers or crostini. We especially liked it with whole-wheat "scoop" tortilla chips. Serves 10 or more.

Optional: Add 1 or 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar to the dressing for a tangier flavor.

This recipe has yellow, red and orange peppers and black beans. It uses a bottle of Italian dressing.

The Farm Girl Gourmet uses 5 cloves of garlic in her version here.

The Cowgirl Hall of Fame Restaurant shared its version at epicurious.

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