They were a “must” to be prepared, of course—the requisite black-eyed peas for good luck on New Year’s Day. I had saved a Southern Living recipe from last year and thought it was just perfect for getting the deed accomplished in a tasty way.
Assembling it was no trouble, but rounding up one of the ingredients involved a small marathon. Red-pepper jelly was one of the main parts of the marinade; our standby Kroger didn’t seem to have it. Hubby pawed around in the traditional jams-and-jellies aisle, the international foods aisle, and the health-foods aisle. He called over the manager, which he never hesitates to do when he needs help. He even encountered a neighbor who makes delicious jalapeno salsa with some of the peppers from our garden. No one seemed to know where to get red-pepper or even jalapeno jelly.
Thankfully the good ole Internet let our fingers do the walking. Hubby tippy-typed a question about where to purchase red-pepper jelly in our area. He was directed to the Wal-Mart that was on our way to pick up our grandbaby who was our New Year’s Eve charge. Hubby walked into the store and immediately spotted the red-pepper jelly—tons of it—on the jams-and-jellies aisle. He didn’t even have to scour the store. What a nod to technology!
The recipe itself was immensely simple and merely involved marinating cooked black-eyes, red onions, cilantro, red bell pepper (although I used yellow bell pepper since I had it on hand), red-pepper jelly, red-wine vinegar, and cut-up jalapeno for about eight hours and then tossing in two diced peaches and some shredded spinach just before serving. The salad recipe definitely was a suggestion worth saving for an entire year. Sweet, tangy, and unusual, this pea salad was a great way to take care of that New Year’s tradition. Even little grandboy ate a morsel—a lucky 2012 is guaranteed for him!
I may not wait until New Year’s 2013 to prepare Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad again. This is a great salad side for any important occasion.
Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad
1 (16-ounce) package frozen black-eyed peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup red-pepper jelly
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup diced red onion
2 large fresh peaches, peeled and diced
2 cups torn watercress (I subbed shredded spinach, which I had on hand)
Prepare peas according to package direction. Simmer them only until tender; drain and let cool 1 hour. Whisk together cilantro and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add cooked black-eyed peas, bell pepper, and onion, tossing to coat, and cover and chill for 8 hours. Stir peaches and watercress (or spinach) into pea mixture just before you serve. Makes 6 servings.