South of the Salt Line Caviar


This is a great addition to a cocktail party and, for some, it might be a conversation starter. I find that using the frozen peas give a far superior flavor versus the canned variety. You can cook them the night before and have them chilled already in the refrigerator. This is inexpensive to make and easy to boot. Also know as Redneck Caviar or Poor-man’s Caviar, this version is colorful and looks great when served in a cut glass bowl served with tortilla chips or corn chips.

Makes about 6 cups or 24 (1/4-cup) servings

1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
2 (12-ounce) bags frozen black-eyed peas
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 cup quartered, cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley


Cook peas in chicken broth and according to package directions and chill.

In a small bowl, add the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.

Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the chilled peas to a large glass bowl and then add the peppers, onion, tomatoes and parsley.

Drizzle with the vinegar dressing and using a spoon, toss well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Black-eyed peas were brought to the West Indies from West Africa by slaves, by earliest records in 1674. Originally used as food for livestock, they became a staple of the slaves’ diet - and so during the Civil War, black-eyed peas (field peas) were ignored by Sherman’s troops. Left behind in the fields (along with corn), they became important food for the Confederate South. Library of Congress 5-a Day