The Best Healthy Texas Caviar
Ok, ya’ll (still not used to slipping that in, hello wanna-be Texas girl). Texas caviar is something I had in college or soon after, when one of my real-life-Texas-girl college roommates whipped it up. I was immediately obsessed with the flavor and crunch and all the colors. Salty tortilla chips heaped with a fresh bean and veggie salsa, what more could you ask for? Healthy Texas caviar is the perfect recipe for book club gatherings, pot lucks, BBQ dinners and long weekends at the ranch or lake.
Canned or Homemade Beans
Make your caviar with either drained and rinsed canned beans, or homemade beans. I couldn’t find canned black-eyed peas when I made my last batch, so I made an entire pound of black-eyed peas in my Instant Pot. To make them, give the beans a rinse in a colander and added them to the bowl of my Instant Pot with 6 cups of chicken stock. Close the lid, seal the vent and cook on high/manual for 30 minutes and let the steam naturally release. You’ll only need 1 1/2 cups for the recipe, so freeze or refrigerate remaining cooked beans to use in soups (and more Texas caviar!).
Most traditional recipes for Texas caviar are heavy on the sugar, some are made with sweet canned corn (more sugar) or Italian dressing with tons of preservatives, gums and thickeners. This version is super fresh, zingy from lime and contains only a touch of honey to balance the acidity.
How to Serve
This bean and veggie appetizer will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for a couple days. Just before serving, add cubed avocado or a sprinkling of feta or cotija cheese. Then pour yourself a margarita and let out a yee-haw. Just kidding! Just eat the caviar. You don’t want to seem like a wanne-be Texas girl.
Healthy Texas Caviar
- 1 14-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups cooked black-eyed peas
- 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
- 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels, cut off 2 ears of corn, or organic frozen corn
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes I use 3-4 small organic tomatoes on the vine, about 3/4 pound
- 1 medium red, orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped into ¼-inch dice
- 3/4 cup chopped red onion about 1/2 small red onion, chopped
- 1-2 jalapeños minced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced optional
- ½ cup crumbled good-quality feta optional
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 garlic cloves minced or grated on a microplane
- 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano minced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large serving bowl, combine the black-eyed peas, black beans, corn, chopped tomatoes, bell pepper, onion and jalapeño. Add chopped cilantro, avocado and feta right before you’re ready to serve the dip, so it doesn’t oxidize before you serve.
- In a glass jar, add the dressing ingredients and close the lid tightly and shake well. Drizzle the dressing over the ingredients in the serving bowl and toss until combined. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper. For best flavor, let the mixture marinate for at least 20 minutes before serving. (Alternately, you can make the dressing in the mixing bowl before adding the Texas caviar ingredients, and then toss to combine.)