Savory cowboy caviar [V, GF]

Savory cowboy caviar from The Spoon + Shovel

If you've followed some of our previous posts, you've probably noticed that we have a thing for chips and dip. We've already posted about sweet & hot pepper relish and black-eyed pea pate, so it makes sense that as the weather gets nicer, another dip came to mind: cowboy caviar. I stumbled across it last summer and became a bit obsessed. It’s just so easy to assemble, scalable for gatherings (meat-free barbecues need to become a thing), and takes way less time and hassle than homemade salsa. At its core, it consists of black beans, black-eyed peas, corn, jalapeño, tomato, cilantro and some oil and vinegar, but as with most things, I wanted to over-complicate it and add to to the basic idea - but I promise it’s worth it! I've added more spice and a bit of extra crunch with this version, and I plan on making it at every opportunity this summer. Friends, prepare thy taste buds! 

Savory cowboy caviar from The Spoon + Shovel

Ingredients:
1 can (15-16 oz) or 1 1/2 C. reconstituted black beans
1 can (15-16 oz) or 1 1/2 C. reconstituted black-eyed peas
½ of 1 medium onion, ~⅓ C. chopped
1 C. corn
2 stalks celery, chopped
1  jalapeño, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped (~1 C.)
¼ C. cilantro, chopped (more if you’d like)
2-3 T. red wine vinegar
1-2 T. white vinegar
1 t. cumin
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste (I start with 1 t. salt and taste before adding more) 
1 t. smoked paprika (optional)

Prep time: 20 min.
Yield: ~ 6 C.

-Rinse and drain the beans and peas (separately).
-Chop the celery, jalapeño, red pepper and tomato. 
-Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Taste and see if you’re happy with the flavors, and add more cilantro, salt and pepper if needed. I also up the white vinegar if the acidity is too low for my taste (usually due to store-bought tomatoes). 

I like to make a batch of cowboy caviar the night before serving, so all of the flavors mellow together and spread throughout as it refrigerates. If you do this, make sure to cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap, as the dish will take on flavors from other things in the fridge.

Savory cowboy caviar from The Spoon + Shovel