Serious Eats: Recipes
Healthy & Delicious: Black-Eyed Pea 'Caviar'
As part of our occasional series on mayonnaise-free summer salads, I wanted to delve into legumes. On one hand, I don't think I've ever seen a bean salad with mayo, making it a logical choice for a post. On the other hand, I've only tasted a handful of really good bean salads. Quite often, they're just thrown into a bowl and drowned in a cup of sugar and a liter of oil. If it works for you, great. I'm not one to mock a person's preferred beanery.
However, I like my legumes with a little more joie de vivre. (Yes, beans can have a love of life. Why do you ask?) And when it comes to bean salads, it's all about balance and freshness. A good one should look lively and appealing--not like it's already been sitting on the table for a week. Adding herbs and vegetables always helps, as do vinegar and moderate amounts of sweetener and olive oil.
Take YumSugar's black-eyed pea "caviar," for instance. For one thing, the legume of choice distinguishes the dish from your average three-bean salad. There's nary a wax bean to be found. For another, the tomatoes, peppers, and parsley give it a zesty, more vibrant taste. This is distinctly a summer salad, with all the flavors associated therein. Finally, a long marinating period means you can make it, forget about it, and enjoy the whole shebang days afterward. Bonus.
So, next time you want a salad, consider the humble bean. It's more summery than you think.