For New Year’s Luck: A Quick and Tasty Blackeyed Pea Salad

Ingredients for blackeyed pea salad. How's this for a "still life" in my kitchen? That's one of my Christmas cactuses just starting to bloom.

Especially in the South, people eat blackeyed peas in some form for good luck on New Year’s Day.  My taste for blackeyed peas hasn’t grown all that much over the years; without some kind of disguise, these little brown nubbins taste grey and musky (that’s the best way I can describe it).  They can, however, with the addition of other ingredients, be transformed into a delicious dish.  (I guess you could say these are blackeyed peas “in drag”.)

Nowadays, because of regional and international influence, there’s a wider variety of similar beans/peas that are available on the store shelves.  If you take a chance and try them, you’ll probably find some new additions to your menu.

Here’s an easily-made salad that I put together that perhaps you’ll like.  There’s no guarantee, though, that it will help you achieve your New Year’s luck.

New Year’s Day Blackeyed Pea Salad


1 can of blackeyed peas drained

1 can of field peas drained

1 crisp apple peeled, cored and roughly chopped

1/2 the juice of one lemon (that it was given to you from a local tree all the better)

2 tablespoons sugar

2 strips very crisply cooked bacon, broken into small pieces

1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts

Salt and pepper

Directions:  Put the chopped apples in a good-sized bowl.  (Save time by using your favorite serving bowl.)  Squeeze the lemon juice over the apple pieces; add in the sugar, and toss together.  Add the drained peas, bacon, and nuts.  Shake on some salt and pepper.  Gently mix and then refrigerate for several hours.

Variations:  Use just blackeyed peas if you like or can’t find field peas.  Add the bacon and nuts right before serving to give the salad more crunch.  Chopped celery might be a good addition too.


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