Black-eyed Pea and Cauliflower Salad

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As southern New Year’s Day superstition has it, one should for luck and prosperity eat one black- eyed pea for each day of the year on New Year’s Day. Being a northern-born marrying into a southern-born family I had to do some research to come up with a recipe that we both could enjoy. Luckily the magazine Southern Cooking had a bacon-laden recipe for a black-eyed pea and cauliflower salad.


So, to lighten up this recipe and make it plant-based instead of bacon-based I removed the bacon and added smoked paprika and olive oil for the flavor. I also replaced the brown sugar with minced dates to lower the glycemic index. I don’t miss the bacon at all. Should you prefer bacon add eight thick slices rendered for the fat to be used in the dressing and the crisp bacon crumbled on top. Then hope that it does bring good luck!

4 servings

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2 cups fresh cauliflower, trimmed, separated into very small florets

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon smoked paprika or pimentón dulce

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 can black-eyed peas, drained, washed

½ cup celery, small diced

4 scallions, trimmed, sliced thin

½ cup sweet red pepper, stemmed, seeded, small diced

¼ cup large dates, pitted, minced


1.     Bring a quart of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets. Cook just until the color is set, about one to two minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and reserve.

2.     In a small jar mix the vinegar, salt, paprika, and olive oil to make the vinaigrette. Put on the lid and shake.

3.     Mix the cauliflower, peas, celery, scallions, red pepper, and dates together.

4.     Shake the vinaigrette. Pour over the vegetables. Toss well. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. Toss before serving.

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