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Bean Caviars and Bean Salads

Texans tell you to make these one to three days ahead and refrigerate so the flavors will mellow.

Mexican Caviar- an olive dip

Makes 2 cups
1 can (4 1/2 oz.) chopped black olives, drained
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies, drained
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1 bunch green onions, white only, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash seasoned salt

Mix all ingredients together. Chill in refrigerator overnight or for several days. Serve with corn chips such as Frito Scoops.

Threadgill's Texas Caviar

Threadgill's Restaurant is an Austin, Texas tradition. They say, "Cowpeas into caviar. Anything is possible in Texas. This simple dish proves the perfection of tender black-eyed peas. The onion and bell pepper provide a delicate crunch, the vinegar a slight tang." For picnics, diets, good luck on New Year's Day, you really ought to get enough practice on this one to make it easy and frequent. This one is mild: check out the other recipes here for seasoning ideas.
makes about 2 1/2 quarts

2 quarts black-eyed peas, drained (canned is fine)
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
1 cup Vinegar and Oil Dressing
2 teaspoons garlic, minced (1 teaspoon is enough for some folks)
1 tablespoon Vegetable Seasoning

Mix all ingredients well and marinate 8 to 12 hours, stirring a few times to coat all ingredients well.

Texas Caviar 1- (Black-Eyed peas, jalepeños)

about 1 quart

1-1/2 cups chopped seeded tomato
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons canned diced green chilies
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeno pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained
1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
Jalapeno slices (optional)
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with jalapeno slices and cilantro sprigs, if desired. Serve with baked tortilla chips.

Texas Caviar 2- Black-eyed peas and black beans

about 8 cups

1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup zesty Italian dressing
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, mix together onion, green bell pepper, green onions, jalapeno peppers, garlic, cherry tomatoes, zesty Italian dressing, black beans, black-eyed peas and coriander.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator 4 hours or overnight. Toss with desired amount of fresh cilantro to serve.

Texas Caviar 3- Black-eyed peas and hominy

Lowfat and pretty
about 6 cups

1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained
1 (15 ounce) can white hominy, drained
1 (4-6 ounce) can black olives, small, sliced, drained
2 each tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 each green onions, finely chopped
1 each green pepper, finely chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 cup mild picante sauce
1 small clove garlic mixed, OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix all ingredients in a large air tight container and chill for at least 4 hours, up to several days. This salad or dip is great eaten alone or with tortilla chips on the side.

Texas Caviar 4- Hot, simple, black-eyed peas

6 cups

3 16-ounce cans black eyed peas, drained
8 small white onions thinly sliced and separated into rings
3-4 ounces (1 small jar) capers, drained
1 small clove garlic, crushed OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups (16 ounce bottle) Italian dressing
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

3 shakes Liquid Smoke

Mix the dressingand seasonings, pour over the beans and onions, stir well. Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain and place in a serving bowl. Serve with crackers or corn chips. Keeps up to 5 days.

Best Bean Salad, Tex-Mex Style

Maybe the best bean salad! The mixture of lime and lemon juice in the dressing is important.
Makes about 3 quarts

1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
1 (15 ounce) can chick peas
1 (15 ounce) can small white beans
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilis
1 (15 ounce) shoepeg corn kernels, prefer fiesta style
1 red onion, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 clove crushed garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 dash hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Rinse and drain all the canned beans (desalts), or drain home-cooked. In a large bowl, combine beans, bell peppers and chilies, corn, and red onion.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice sugar, salt, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and black pepper. Season to taste with hot sauce and chili powder.
Pour olive oil dressing over vegetables; mix well. Chill thoroughly (overnight), and serve cold.

Artichoke Olive Condite
an Artichoke Salad

makes about a gallon
I loved the olive condite on New Orleans muffaletta, and came up with this variation when I moved away from the Gulf Coast. When I get to my warehouse store to buy a half gallon of artichoke hearts, I make a gallon- my friends are always looking for a jar of this- and I keep a 2 quart jar of this mix in my refrigerator all the time. I use it as a simple lunch with soup, chopped coarsely to garnish green salads or as a filling for enchiladas. Dice up some feta or white cheese and mix it in to make a fast party appetizer. The salad is also good diced into a bruschetta spread for crackers and sandwiches.

I use a combination of fresh cooked and marinated canned vegetables. Many commercial marinated vegetables have too much vinegar- it's much cheaper than good olive oil. So drain them! The reason for the rinsing and draining is to get rid of extra salt and cheap vinegar. If you are going to store the mixture for a few weeks, use only blanched, cooked or canned vegetables. Raw vegetables are loaded with bacteria that cause fermenting or spoiling.


artichoke hearts, 1/2 gallon, drained, woody stems or tops removed

Add ins: mix in 1/2 gallon total, drain and rinse in a strainer before adding:
roasted red pepper strips
stemmed and seeded sweet pepperoncini or sweet banana pepper rings
black olives
crushed salad olives with pimento
cauliflower, thin slice and blanch
carrots, matchsticks or thin circles, thin slice and blanch
celery, thin sliced across the stalks, thin slice and blanch
Italian green beans (canned and drained, or frozen lightly cooked)

Dressing, mix together,
olive oil
rice wine vinegar diluted with equal part distilled water

Toss all the vegetables together. Cover with dressing, store covered.