The first time I had Texas caviar I was in Santa Fe. There I think they called it Cowgirl Caviar but that might have been the name of the restaurant. I remember lots of pictures of cowgirls. Maybe the name of the restaurant was called Cowgirl Hall of Fame. That seems more right to me.
Anyway. Texas Caviar was made famous by Helen Corbitt the food director in the 1950’s for Neiman Marcus in Dallas. Many recipes call for Italian dressing. No. Do not do it. I am sorry but bottled dressings suck. Period. This is supposed to be fresh and vibrant and everything added is meant to highlight the creamy texture of the legumes, not hide it.
Serves 6 to 8
2 ea. 15 oz cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons red onion, minced
2 tablespoons celery, minced
1/3 cup cilantro, minced
1 tablespoon green onions, minced
1 garlic clove, minced finely
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup neutral flavored oil, i.e., canola, grape seed
1 to 2 dried cayennes or chile tepins cut into thin strips with scissors
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine. Season with salt and lots of black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. This gets better as it sits, 24 hours is optimal, but will also gain more Scoville heat units so keep that in mind when you decide the amount of red pepper you want to use.