All-American Cowboy Caviar


Happy Independence Day America! Land of the free, home of the brave…. and cookouts by the pool. This weekend was no exception. After deciding last week that we were going to have our new friends come over for a cookout, I’ve been working furiously to figure out the menu and decorations. Originally, I wanted to do salsa and guacamole served with hot dogs and cowboy beans, but I forgot avocados and the temperature was predicted at 102. So, I opted for something a little lighter…cowboy caviar, homemade pickles, kabobs, and roasted corn on the cob.

For the uninitiated, Cowboy caviar is a Southern thing that I had forgotten about it until going to the Village Harvest event last Tuesday. One of the other volunteers had brought some as a snack, though she called it white trash dip. Personally, I’m not eating anything that’s called white trash. She was relieved to find out that it had a much better name in the South.

This appetizer a mixture of black-eyed peas, fresh tomatoes, cilantro, onions and jalapeno all covered in tasty, homemade vinaigrette. This dish is very easy to make and is best after a couple hours in the refrigerator to allow all the flavors to meld. I actually prefer the dish on the second day, if it lasts that long.


2 cans of black-eyed peas, rinsed

1 can of corn, drained

1 bushel of cilantro, chopped

5 to 6 Roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 fresh jalapeno, diced

1 ripe avocado, diced


¼ cup olive oil

2 tbsp. white wine vinegar

2 tbsp. hot sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 packet of artificial sweetener (Splenda)

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

2 dashes of Thyme

1 teaspoon parsley

2 dashes celery salt


  1. Prepare vinaigrette. Mix together oil, vinegar, hot sauce and spices. Stir well. Vinaigrette should be fragrant smell like Italian dressing. If it smells like oil, add more garlic powder. If it smells too acidic, add more oregano, parsley and celery salt. Let sit for 10 min.
  2. While the dressing is sitting, in a large bowl, stir together black eyed peas, corn, red onion, tomatoes, jalapeno and cilantro.
  3. Pour dressing over mixture and add avocado. Stir well. Be careful not to mash the avocado.
  4. Enjoy with chips or refrigerate.

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1 comment

  1. Tina@flourtrader July 5, 2011 at 12:23 pm Reply

    Yum-there is a reason it is called caviar, it out ranks several dips and salsas in my book. Great post!

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