Peppery watercress fills in for traditional greens. January is peak season for fresh Chilean peaches—ripen at room temp in a brown paper bag until fragrant and juicy.
1 (16-oz.) package frozen black-eyed peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup red pepper jelly
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup diced red onion
2 large fresh peaches, peeled and diced
2 cups torn watercress
How to Make It
Prepare peas according to package directions, simmering only until al dente; drain and let cool 1 hour.
Whisk together cilantro and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add cooked black-eyed peas, bell pepper, and onion, tossing to coat; cover and chill 8 hours. Stir peaches and watercress into pea mixture just before serving.
This was great! It was part of a summertime "Southern" appetizer buffet, including cornmeal crusted chicken tenderloins, deviled eggs and watermelon. Guests could not stop raving about it, went back for seconds and thirds, and the whole thing was completely gone fairly quickly. I made this after attempting another black-eyed pea salad that was swimming in oil. I rinsed everything thoroughly, and started over re-using the peas, chopped regular white onions and chopped celery that were already mixed together. I think the red onion would be even prettier, but the final taste was not a disappointment. (I am not sure I used the whole two cups of watercress, and to be honest, I really wasn't sure how to tear it--it is all stems with just leaves at the top; I used mostly the top halves of one whole bunch that was sold growing out of a little piece of sod.) This combination of flavors was so fresh and complex. I will make it again and again. Great cool salad for a hot day!
I made for New Years Day. There was no watercress in the grocery store, so I substituted
2 stalks of celery diced. It added a nice crunch. I wasn't sure about the peaches, but
everyone liked the dimension the peach added to the recipe.
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