Mediterranean Black Eye Pea Salad

December 20, 2022

bowl of mediterranean black eye pea salad

The new year begins in less than two weeks. Are you ready? Got something fizzy for New Year’s Eve? The celebration is complete with good luck food on New Year’s Day. In past years I’ve published dishes with black eye peas, the southern symbol of good luck. They resemble little coins. Paired with something green and gold, the money symbolism inherent in these tasty peas is obvious.

Blue zones are areas of the world where longevity graces the inhabitants. Not surprisingly, Mediterranean climes, with focus on olive oil, fresh vegetables and plant-based meals, harbor such blue zones. What you eat and how you live both affect your health and wellbeing. If you enjoy leisure time and an unhurried lifestyle, the icing on that cake will be your dietary choices.

We’ve all heard about advantages of the Mediterranean diet. Lots of fruits and vegetables, seafood, little meat or poultry (or none, if plant based eating is your goal) and a dependence on healthy fats like olive oil. I say : everything in moderation. Don’t demonize choices outside that lovely circle of foods. Guilt over how you eat (labeling things  “good” or “bad”) does nothing but keep you mired in regret when you lapse by enjoying that nice piece of birthday cake.

You can start your year right with this tasty and colorful southern staple. I’ve upgraded it to Mediterranean style with pomegranate arils, fresh tomato and parsley, olive oil and sheep’s milk feta. Rather than make a separate vinaigrette, you’ll simply toss zested garlic and red wine vinegar with the rest.

ingredients of mediterranean black eye pea salad

This salad could not be easier. Call it entree or call it a side. Four to six servings of crunchy, chewy Mediterranean goodness, southern style.

close-up of mediterranean black eye pea salad

Happiest of holidays to all and here’s to more blue zone eating in the coming year!

Mediterranean Black Eye Pea Salad

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes 4-6 servings

ingredients 

12 ounces frozen black eye peas
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
medium large garlic clove, zested on microplane grater
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
pinch of finely ground white pepper
½ cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
1 cup halved baby tomatoes
¼ cup finely chopped italian parsley *
2-4 ounces feta cheese, preferably sheep’s
* cook’s note : be certain parsley is very dry before chopping

directions

  1. Bring three cups unsalted water to boil in medium heavy saucepan.
  2. Add black eye peas, stir, then when mixture comes to boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally but gently to avoid smashing peas, until they are tender.
  3. Drain well and place in mixing bowl.
  4. While still warm, add olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic, gently using spatula to blend.
  5. When completely cool, add pomegranate arils, parsley and baby tomatoes.
  6. Stir and allow to chill at least several hours to develop flavor.
  7. At serving time, garnish with desired amount of feta cheese and extra parsley leaves if desired.
  8. Will last in refrigerator several days, although feta should be added when ready to serve.
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