Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sweet Scent of Summer Salad

I always think I'm going to like the corn and bean salads that appear in the deli case, but they usually have cilantro and I can only barely abide the stuff, and especially don't like the smell on my hands if I make something with it.  Besides that, I love the smell of celery, onion, green pepper, and cukes sitting in brine overnight before making relish.

So I decided to make a salad that smelled like summer to me, with no herbs either obscuring or complementing the vegetables. This tastes very bright and clean.  Best, I suppose, with freshly cooked black-eyed peas, but I use canned.  The fresher the vegetables the better it will all taste.  But one of the great things about this salad is that it tastes really good in the winter with store vegetables and canned or frozen corn and peas. The key is a good cucumber.

Once you mince the onion, rinsing it in cold water will remove the sulfur compounds that were released when you cut through the cells, and take away that harsh onion flavor you sometimes get when cut onion sits in a salad.

For a hot pepper I used a jalapeno which has long since turned red, from my garden.  The best looking cucumber was waxed, so I took the skin off - but even in the winter I usually leave the skin on a kirby or English cuke.

Sweet Scent of Summer Salad

1 minced cucumber or 1/2 English cuke. Peeled or not as you wish.
1 minced stalk of celery.
1/3 to 1/2 minced sweet onion,
1/2  minced green bell pepper,
1 small moderately hot pepper - jalapeno or hungarian wax, for example (or hot pepper flakes)
1 can black-eyed peas.
1 can extra sweet niblets, or about 1 and 1/4 cup frozen or fresh corn
2-3 Tablespoon lime juice
2-3 teaspoons canola or olive oil
Salt and a good amount of black pepper 

Optional: minced red bell pepper added for color, but don't skip the green pepper
Optional: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar, if you don't use the extra sweet niblets.
Optional: diced avocado.


  1. That looks really awesome. What brand of black-eyed peas do you like, Kathy? I've never really tried them before. Would you recommend canned over dried?

  2. I have only one brand of black-eyed peas up here in the north country, and that's goya (my favorite brand for a lot of things. I once ordered a case of their hot sauce when I could no longer get it locally about a dozen years ago. They'd never had anyone do that before. Shipped them up to me from NJ. Since then they've grown as a brand. For the locals: You'll probably have to look with all the goya products rather than with the other canned beans.) I'm not even sure if I could get them dried. ARM70 could tell us more about brands I think. I'll send her over to this thread.