Florida Caviar

Fran Newton, one of the students in my cooking class, gave me this recipe, which improves upon standing. She uses Paul Newman’s salad dressing as a base, but canola oil and cider vinegar work just as well. Adjust the seasonings to suit your taste, keeping in mind that black-eyed peas are bland. If you wait to salt and pepper the mixture until just before serving, it will taste fresher.


2 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) black-eyed peas, washed and drained
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Oriental sesame oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons vinegar
3 to 5 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons minced, roasted red bell peppers (optional)
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
3 tablespoons finely sliced scallions (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Place the peas in a bowl and add the hot sauce, sesame oil, Worcestershire sauce, oil, vinegar, capers, peppers, and garlic. Let sit for several hours.

Just before serving, add the scallions and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

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