One dip, many names: Cowboy caviar, cowboy salsa, cowboy salad. However, there is one common denominator – “cowboy.” Why cowboy? My best guess is the hearty, 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? I may be from Texas, but actually, I have no clue. Pretty sure they were big on beans, but the black-eyed pea? Mystery.
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 day.
*Side Note: Canned beans must be rinsed. Otherwise, they will add a gritty and unappetizing texture to the dish.
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, separated
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup Canola oil
- 1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can low-sodium corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cup finely chopped Roma tomatoes (about 6) stems and seeds removed
- 3/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 3/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
- 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/4 cup seeded jalapeños, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In a large bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, lime juice, sugar, 2 teaspoons, salt, and red pepper flakes. Very slowly, drizzle in Canola oil, vigorously whisking all the while.
Add the black-eyed peas, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno to the bowl along with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Stir ingredients together, making sure everything was coated in the dressing.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 1-2 hours before serving.
Makes about 6 cups.
Try serving with: