Since I've opened pandora's box concerning cold bean salads, everything keeps turning me on.
I mean, everything can be put into a bean salad, and almost any bean can be saladabled. They can be served cold or warm, they make great leftovers since they don't wilt, they are delicious, and they are giving my go-to pakora making beans a new purpose!
I'm not going to say black-eyed peas are my favorite bean, because I could probably say that about black beans, black chickpeas, yellow pigeon peas, green split peas, and green mung beans as well. Ok, then, black-eyed peas sit very high on my "favorite bean" list. They are so distinct and earthy. They hold their shape, yet have a creamy texture when you bite down on them. They work well in Indian, Mexican, and American food. Plus, they have their own band.
You really can't beat that.
When I stumbled upon this Senegalese recipe calling for black-eyed peas, green chile, and avocado, I didn't even really have a choice. My hypothalamus made me do it.
And I'm glad it did...
Adapted from CookieandKate
Serves many as a side, 5 as a meal
1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight, rinsed, and drained
2 bay leaves
2 dried red chiles (I used chile de arboles)
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp turmeric
6 cups water
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small cucumber, chopped
1 green chile (I used Moroccan), minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 bunch chives, chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped
juice from 1 lime
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
generous pinches of fleur de sel
lots of freshly cracked black pepper
few drops piri piri or tabasco
1. Place all the "to cook" ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 6-7 hours. If you don't have one, the pressure cooker apparently takes 4 minutes under pressure, and normal stovetop takes 2 hours. I have never tried either of those methods and have a hard time believing the pressure cooker time.. but hey.. maybe it's true!
2. Remove the dried red chiles and set aside, discard the bay leaves, then drain the beans and let cool. You can rinse them under cold water to cool them down faster. I tasted the cooking liquid and it was so good I decided to freeze it for a future broth for a soup. Do as you wish.. but still, think about it.
3. Toss with all the "to toss" ingredients. Taste and make sure the salt and pepper ratios are to your liking. Let it sit for at least an hour, refrigerated. This salad has more flavor the longer it sits.
Serve topped with sliced avocado and that chile de arbole you saved from the cooking water.
I was actually planning on only having this bean salad for dinner with maybe some shredded cabbage and rice. This sea bass just jumped on my BBQ out of nowhere and begged me to join my colorful Senegalese party. It's very hard for me to turn down BBQ sea bass (who in their right mind would??), so I aquiesced.
Here you see the Saladu Ñebbe alongside some roasted sweet potatoes and BBQ'd sea bass.
It was a perfect match.
Since I have a large quantity of leftovers, my next meal will be with rice as a meal... and it will be just as perfect...