Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes

Black-Eyed Pea and Spinach Salad Recipe

June 21, 2011
Black-eyed pea salad, I high-five you. You are a catch-all for any season as well as my refrigerator’s crisper. So versatile in fact, you welcome an overflowing garden’s bounty in the summer and a depleted produce shelf in the winter, yes, you even make celery and carrots seem exciting in your presence.

I have been making this salad lately as a side dish to the much celebrated return of my grill and all the perfectly charred meats coming from it. I was psyched this weekend to see Bloomsdale spinach at our Farmer’s market and threw some of that into the mix, although I have made this salad with several other greens including escarole and arugula.

I like the meaty texture of dried black-eyed peas, but frozen black-eyed peas are widely available if you are running short on time. Boil the frozen ones as directed below but only for about 5-10 minutes.

Black-Eyed Pea and Spinach Salad Recipe

Yield: 4


  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed, picked over for stones and soaked overnight
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • the juice of 1/2 a Meyer lemon or lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped


  1. Combine onion, peas, and bay leaf in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, skimming off any foam from the surface. Cook until beans are tender, but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of the salt and continue to cook for 10 more minutes. Drain, remove onion pieces and bay leaf and transfer to a salad bowl.
  2. Meanwhile place cumin seeds in a small, dry frying pan and cook, shaking the pan frequently until toasted and fragrant.
  3. Add remaining salt, bell pepper, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, cumin, and olive oil to the beans and toss to combine. Let cool to room temperature, or chill in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to serve, taste and season with more lemon juice and salt as needed. Toss with spinach and cilantro and serve.

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