Thursday, June 16, 2011

Buttermilk-Black-eyed Peas Salad

  I gotta say, it's been a hard switch for me going from cooking heart-warming stews, casseroles and dutch oven chicken to "no turning on the oven NO MATTER WHAT" dishes like salads, wraps and grilled foods. Why is that? I'm really not an expert on the grill yet. I usually leave that for the weekend when my hubby is home and it's kind of his domain. Gotta get in some practice! 
This is the perfect side salad for a hot day with summery vegetables like chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, and they add a nice splash of color and flavor to the dish. The buttermilk dressing is outstanding, and can easily be used for a green salad, noodle or quinoa salad. Have fun with this recipe!

The recipe is adapted from Ellie Krieger. You can check out the original recipe here.
Salad Recipe 
Serves: 6 Prep: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 0 minutes

3/4 cups buttermilk
3 TB mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp honey-mustard or spicy brown mustard
1 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas (or 2 15.5oz cans rinsed and drained)
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved
4 cups spinach leaves, lightly packed and cut into wide ribbons
2 TB chives, chopped (optional)  

1. Whisk together the buttermilk through pepper in a small bowl.
 2. In a large bowl, combine black eyed peas through chives.
 3. Pour dressing in 1/2 cup increments. There might be some dressing left over; you don't want the salad to be too soggy. Incorporate dressing gently, so the beans not get too mushed. Add spinach and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and more hot sauce if needed. Serve immediately. This salad will last about 2-3 days in your fridge, but tastes the best the first day. 


Plan and Prep Ahead 

Here are some helpful techniques to make life a little easier once dinner time hits. These tips will especially help those that work full-time and don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner. 

~make buttermilk dressing ahead of time and keep in fridge until ready to use. 
~Incorporate beans with cut-up vegetables, and keep in fridge until ready to use. 
~Cut up vegetables ahead of time, and keep in fridge until ready to use.

Who likes to CHANGE IT UP? 

~You can use a different bean like white beans or kidney instead of black-eyed peas.
~Add some cranberries for a different flavor.
~Try 1/2 tsp dill in the buttermilk dressing.
~Use different vegetables like celery, bell pepper or green onions.
~Instead of spinach use a mixed green salad.

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