One dip, many names: Cowboy caviar, cowboy salsa, cowboy salad. However, there is one common denominator – “cowboy.” Why cowboy? Well, my best guess is the hearty, and creamy black-eyed peas that set this dip apart, and make it almost a meal in itself. Did cowboys get down on black-eyed peas?
Mmmmmmm…I may be from Texas, but actually, I have no clue. Pretty sure they were big on beans, but the black-eyed pea? Who knows? I guess historians. They’d probably know.
Regardless of the origin, cowboy caviar makes for a sturdy pre-meal party dip, but I also wouldn’t mind it in salad-form alongside a juicy, flame-grilled chicken breast…maybe marinated with a little lime and some Mexican spices? I feel another recipe coming on.
Back to the one at hand. Cowboy caviar is simple enough to put together, and there is truly nothing complicated or scary about making it. One of the great things about it is that it is a make-ahead recipe, which essentially means perfect for entertaining; giving you practically hours of free time to make sure your home looks as if nobody has ever stepped foot in it. Come on, admit it. It’s ok – we all do it.
I’m not going to try to pull a fast one on you here, there is some prep work involved in the form of chopping, but it’s not all that much, and beyond that, we are simply combining a little red wine vinegar with a few spices and some oil. If you’re hung up on that chopping thing though, no worries. It’s only a couple peppers and some tomatoes. Plus, it’ll all be worth it. Cowboy caviar is fresh, vibrant and perfectly addictive. Just what you and your guests need to keep cool (and well-fed) on a hot summer’s day. Enjoy.
*Side Note: Canned beans must be rinsed. Otherwise, they will add a gritty and unappetizing texture to the dish.
- 1 1/4 cup fresh corn kernels 1-2 corn cobs, or canned corn (drained), if preferred
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2/3 cup Canola oil
- 1 1/2 cup finely chopped Campari 10-12 or Roma (6-8) tomatoes, stems and seeds removed
- 3/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper about 3/4 of red pepper
- 3/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper about 1 whole green pepper
- 1 15 ounce can black-eye peas, rinsed and drained
If using fresh corn, shuck the corn, and rinse under cool running water, removing any excess silk. Pat corn dry and using a sharp chefs knife, cut off a tiny portion of the bottom of the cob in order to create a sturdy base. Run the knife down each side the corn cob, allowing the kernels to fall onto the work surface. If using canned corn, disregard the following step.
Add butter to a medium-sized saute pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the corn and saute 2 minutes, or until just softened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.s.
In a large bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt and red pepper flakes. Slowly drizzle in Canola oil, vigorously whisking all the while. Add the tomatoes, bell peppers, black-eyed peas and corn to the bowl. Fold ingredients together, making sure all ingredients are coated in the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 1-2 hours before serving.
Makes about 6 1/2 cup
Try serving with: