Cowboy Caviar

I meant to share this recipe with you before the holidays, but time refused to slow down to the pace I needed.  Go figure.


I’m not sure whether to call this a dip, snack or a side dish.   Maybe appetizer?  All I know is, it’s fantastic and we eat it often.  My friend Melinda, who is an amazing cook, brought this to a party at our house once, years ago, and we’ve requested it at every one since.  The recipe she shared with me also has a place of honor in my cookbook AND I have a photo of the recipe in my cell phone in case I’m at the grocery store and decide we need to make it soon.  Yes, it is that good.

This is very easy to make, and open to variations if there’s an ingredient you don’t have or don’t like.  For instance, the original recipe calls for 1/4 cup of olive oil, but because we’re trying to eat healthier, I cut it back to 1 tablespoon.  Melinda recently started substituting Serrano peppers for the jalapenos, which gives it a little different flavor and is just as good.  We leave out the tomatoes because someone in our house doesn’t think they’re edible.


Cowboy Caviar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced or 1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 (15 ounce) can blackeye peas (drained)

1 (11 ounce) can white shoepeg corn (not drained)

3/4 cup chopped cilantro

3/4 cup chopped green onion

1 – 2 jalapenos, chopped

2 avocados, chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped (optional)

Combine all the ingredients, except the avocados and tomatoes.  Mix well.  Add the avocados and tomatoes and mix gently.  Makes about 4 cups without the tomatoes.


A few notes:

-  I usually chop the garlic, cilantro and jalapenos in the food processor because it’s easy, but I like the texture better when I chop everything by hand.

-  This tastes better if you make it the day before you want to eat it so the flavors get a chance to blend.

-  I almost always make a double batch of this and I’ve found that one bunch of cilantro and one bunch of green onions are the perfect amount.  If you’re making a single batch, you’ll need a half bunch of each.

-  If you’ve never heard of shoepeg corn (I hadn’t before this recipe), it’s a white corn with smaller-than-average, tender kernels.  I haven’t had a problem finding it from Green Giant in the canned vegetable aisle.

-  I use my home-canned dill garlic and dill jalapenos in this most of the time.

-  This is great with lime-flavored tortilla chips.  We tried it with Popchips this time and that’s also delicious.  If they start making lime-flavored Popchips it would be heavenly.

For those of you counting calories, 1/2 cup of Cowboy Caviar has 164 calories (without the tomatoes) and it makes a great salad when you throw it on top of spinach.  Enjoy!