Happy Labor Day weekend! You’ll want to try this for your summer send-off picnic this weekend. My daughter, Tate, discovered a very similar recipe on a Pinterest link, adapted it to suit our tastes, and made it this morning. I’m really glad she did; I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s that good, and so quick and easy! Thanks Tate!
Blackeyed Pea Salad
For the salad-
3 cans of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 large jalapeno, deveined and chopped finely
¼ large red onion, diced
6 medium green onions, sliced with greens
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium red or yellow bell pepper, diced
2 medium or 1 very large tomato, diced
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed well and chopped finely (we used a food processor)
For the vinaigrette-
½ cup really good extra virgin olive oil (I STRONGLY recommend Olea Estates olive oil)*
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
½ tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
In the bottom of a large, glass serving bowl, mix vinegar, garlic, mustard, some salt and pepper, and sugar. Stir until blended. Add olive oil. Mix well. Add all bean salad ingredients to vinaigrette and stir gently until fully incorporated and mixed. Taste, then salt and pepper to your seasoning preference. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavors to combine properly. Allow to rest outside of refrigerator for 30 minutes prior to serving.
*Olea Estates is amazing. You’ll never want to purchase your olives or olive oil elsewhere after trying theirs. http://www.oleaestates.com
I had the chance recently to enjoy an informal email chat with Demos Chronis, one of the owners of Olea Estates about his family’s traditions and products. Here’s just a sample of what he had to say. I’ve never been more impressed with a family business, and I’m sure you’ll agree.
About Olea olives:
“We hand pick them one by one, when the olives are ready. So we go through our fields multiple times a day, during the harvest season, to catch them at the right stage. The brine is made from spring water, sea salt and organic vinegar. Also the containers we use are all BPA free (and we have the certifications on our website). We prefer these BPA free plastic containers, cause in that way our olives are lacto-fermented and preserve the probiotics that are found on the surface of the olives. All the glass jars that contain olives must be boiled with the olives in them in order to be out in the market (a sterilization law of EU and US). But that kills the probiotics, alters the nutritional value of the olives and the taste. That is the reason for our containers. So the moment we pick the olives we put them in salt water to remove most of the bitterness and then transfer them to the brine and pack them.”
About Olea olive oil:
“We hand pick the olives, transport them straight to the mill, wash them thoroughly and cold press them. Only olive oil from the first press makes it to the glass and tin containers of Olea, where the rich, full flavor of the oil remains sealed for you to enjoy. There are no preservatives, additives, colors or any kind of foreign oil added to Olea. We do not further refine byproducts of the first press to produce more oil. The difference is the stage of the olives that we use to produce the olive oil.
The Olea Estates olive oil is produced when the olives are mature and ready to be harvested. Here is an important aspect of our process. Even 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil like this will be cloudy right off the press. This is because it contains tiny particles of olive flesh and skin that remain in the oil during the pressing process. These particles have to be removed, to ensure a uniform clarity and no cloudiness. To get rid of these particles all mass produced olive oil goes through a filtering process that separates these particles from the oil or eliminates them using chemical treatment. Along with the particles goes some of the olive flavor and nutrients. At Olea we patiently use a natural process to retain the full olive oil flavor but still guarantee the clarity of filtered olive oil. We seal the olive oil in stainless steel tanks and let it sit idle for 60 days in special and monitored temperature and humidity conditions. During this time the particulate matter naturally settles to the bottom of the tank. After two months we extract the olive oil from the top of the tank and ship directly to the USA. Of course, this is not possible for mass produced olive oil as the overhead of two months, the tanks required to do this job and the work involved (including cleaning the tanks at the end of the season) would prohibitively increase the cost in a competitive market. However, we use this olive oil to feed ourselves and we do not like feeding on chemicals (even though they are obviously safe for consumption); we also sure appreciate the full flavor of unfiltered olive oil.”
-Demosthenis Chronis, Ph.D, Olea Estates