Georgia caviar recipe

Black eyed pea side dish also known as Georgia caviar

If you thought black-eyed peas were only a Southern New Year’s staple, think again.

This humble legume, known to many as “poor people food,” is rich in nutritional value. It’s so rich, we have a black-eyed pea recipe in my family called “Georgia Caviar.”

The recipe is quick, tasty and packed with plant protein, dietary fiber, folate, potassium, iron and zinc. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, black-eyed peas are one of those rare foods that fall into both the protein and vegetable categories, so those of you keeping score can decide how to credit your diet plan.

This recipe is great as an appetizer, served with tortilla chips, but it also makes a nice side item for grilled meats, or even as a meat-less main dish over rice, quinoa or other grains. If there’s time, you can use dried beans for this recipe (soaking and cooking them first,) but I’ve always used canned.

Some people are concerned about the sodium content in canned beans, but rinsing them does away with some of that. (And a former roommate swore that rinsing beans helped quash the “musical fruit” problem that sometimes comes from eating beans.)

By the way, you can leave out the jalapeño peppers if you don’t like “spicy,” but I find that the mildness of the black-eyed peas nicely balances out the flavor.

Enjoy!

Georgia Caviar

  • 1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • 1 can shoe-peg corn, rinsed
  • 2 cups diced green bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (Vidalia is best)
  • 1/2 cup diced jalapeño peppers
  • 1  2 oz. jar sliced pimento
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • pepper to taste
  • 1  cup zesty Italian dressing
  • Lime slices, if desired

Mix all ingredients except lime. Let it marinate up to 24 hours in refrigerator before serving. If desired, add additional dressing and squeeze on lime juice before serving. 

— Mickey Gramig