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Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar {Black-eyed Pea Salsa} aka Texas Caviar is the delicious Southern cousin of Mexican Black Bean Salsa made with black-eyed peas, sweet corn, diced red plum tomatoes, chopped spicy jalapeño peppers, crisp celery, diced cucumber, red onions, finely sliced green onion, chopped fresh cilantro, and served with crunchy tortilla chips.

Southerners love their black-eyed peas, and the state of Texas is the birthplace of Cowboy Caviar {Black-eyed Pea Salsa}, aka Texas CaviarCowboy Caviar aka Texas Caviar was created in the beautiful state of Texas around 1940 by Ms. Helen Corbitt, the director of the food service for the Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas. Here’s the twist Y’all, Ms. Helen Corbitt, was a native of New York, not Texas.

 

Cowboy Caviar {black-eyed Pea Salsa} aka Texas Caviar is the delicious Southern cousin of Mexican Black Bean Salsa made with black-eyed peas, sweet corn, diced red plum tomatoes, chopped spicy jalapeño peppers, crisp celery, diced cucumber, red onions, finely sliced green onion, chopped fresh cilantro, and served with crunchy tortilla chips. I don’t know about all of you, but I can surely forgive Ms. Corbitt for not being a native Southerner since she created one of my favorite Southern iconic appetizers; bless her little heart, if it weren’t for her we might not have ever thought of this fantastic concoction made from black-eyed peas on our own. So a big thank you is going out to that lovely fiery redheaded Northern gal.

Ms. Helen Corbitt was notoriously famous for being the director of the food service at the Zodiac Room, in the Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas. She first served her well-known Black-eyed Pea Salsa on New Year’s Eve at the Houston Country Club. Ms. Corbitt, would later also serve the Black-eyed Pea Salsa at the famous Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, where then dubbed by its nickname, “Texas caviar,” as a humorous poke at real caviar, an expensive hors-d’oeuvre of salt-cured fish roe.

 

 

 

Cowboy Caviar {black-eyed Pea Salsa} aka Texas Caviar is the delicious Southern cousin of Mexican Black Bean Salsa made with black-eyed peas, sweet corn, diced red plum tomatoes, chopped spicy jalapeño peppers, crisp celery, diced cucumber, red onions, finely sliced green onion, chopped fresh cilantro, and served with crunchy tortilla chips.Did you know, Mr. Stanley Marcus had once declared Ms. Helen Corbitt, the creator of Texas Caviar,  “The Balenciaga of Food”? While Mr. Earl Wilson would describe her only as “The best cook in Texas.Ms.Helen Corbitt has been said to be to the American’s what Julia Child is considered to be the French. Ms. Corbitt’s forte was in her exquisite presentation of new and unusual flavor combinations, and vibrant colors like you will notice her famous Cowboy Caviar {Black-eyed Pea Salsa} aka Texas Caviar.

 

 

 

 

Cowboy Caviar {black-eyed Pea Salsa} aka Texas Caviar is the delicious Southern cousin of Mexican Black Bean Salsa made with black-eyed peas, sweet corn, diced red plum tomatoes, chopped spicy jalapeño peppers, crisp celery, diced cucumber, red onions, finely sliced green onion, chopped fresh cilantro, and served with crunchy tortilla chips.Among her most famous food creations like her Texas Caviar, are her famous Snowballs recipe, Flowerpots with Baked Alaska recipe made in small clay pots, and poppy-seed dressing. Did you know that Helen would be credited with creating this fantastic Poppy-seed Dressing but denied the accolades due to only making the recipe accessible over the years?

You’ll find many versions of this beautiful tasting Cowboy Caviar {Black-eyed Pea Salsa}, aka Texas Caviar on the web, but here is my favorite way to make this fabulous appetizer. Just be prepared for it to fly off the table in no time. Serve it with crisp tortilla chips and watch the family dig into it.

 

 

 

Cowboy Caviar {black-eyed Pea Salsa} aka Texas Caviar is the delicious Southern cousin of Mexican Black Bean Salsa made with black-eyed peas, sweet corn, diced red plum tomatoes, chopped spicy jalapeño peppers, crisp celery, diced cucumber, red onions, finely sliced green onion, chopped fresh cilantro, and served with crunchy tortilla chips.

 

 

 

 

Cowboy Caviar {Black-eyed Pea Salsa} 

  • Two cups black-eyed peas well-drained
  • One cup of corn
  • 1/2 cup of black beans, drained
  • Two plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Three jalapeño peppers finely chopped
  • Two stalks of celery diced
  • One small red onion diced
  • 1/4 of a cup of diced cucumber
  • Two tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, minced
  • Three tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Two teaspoons of sugar. optional
  • A  dash of cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt, to own taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to own taste.

 

 

 

 

5 from 14 votes
Cowboy Caviar {black-eyed Pea Salsa} aka Texas Caviar is the delicious Southern cousin of Mexican Black Bean Salsa made with black-eyed peas, sweet corn, diced red plum tomatoes, chopped spicy jalapeño peppers, crisp celery, diced cucumber, red onions, finely sliced green onion, chopped fresh cilantro, and served with crunchy tortilla chips.
Cowboy Caviar {Black-eyed Pea Salsa} aka Texas Caviar
Prep Time
25 mins
chill
30 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Cowboy Caviar {black-eyed Pea Salsa} aka Texas Caviar is the delicious Southern cousin of Mexican Black Bean Salsa made with black-eyed peas, sweet corn, diced red plum tomatoes, chopped spicy jalapeño peppers, crisp celery, diced cucumber, red onions, finely sliced green onion, chopped fresh cilantro, and served with crunchy tortilla chips.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: Black-eyed Peas Salasa, Cowboy Caviar, Texas Caviar
Servings: 8
Calories: 265 kcal
Author: hmccallum
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Black-eyed peas well-drained
  • 1 cup Sweet Organic Corn
  • 1/2 cup Black beans drained
  • 2 Plum tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 3 Jalapeño peppers finely chopped
  • 2 ribs Celery diced
  • 1 Red onion diced
  • 1/4 cup Cucumber diced
  • 3 tablespoons Fresh cilantro Chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • pinch Cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt to own taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to own taste
Instructions
  1. You can either use a quality canned black-eyed pea, black bean or corn in the recipe, however, be sure to rinse and drain the beans and corn before adding to the bowl.
  2. Next, add diced plum tomatoes, diced jalapeño (peppers seeds are optional), diced celery, diced red onion, diced cucumber, and fresh cilantro to the bowl.
  3. In a small bowl combine apple cider vinegar, olive oil, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Add the mixture to the large bowl and toss the ingredients to combine.
  5. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving with tortilla chips.
  6. Enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Best if chilled 3 hours or more

 

 

 
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Cowboy Caviar {black-eyed Pea Salsa} aka Texas Caviar is the delicious Southern cousin of Mexican Black Bean Salsa made with black-eyed peas, sweet corn, diced red plum tomatoes, chopped spicy jalapeño peppers, crisp celery, diced cucumber, red onions, finely sliced green onion, chopped fresh cilantro, and served with crunchy tortilla chips.

 

 

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Renée | The Good Hearted Woman
    May 7, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    This looks so tasty! I have to admit, I’m one of those Northerners who has jumped on the Southern food wagon (sorry, not sorry ) – but how could I not? The food is amazing, and I come from a family of Southerners who raised me on the good stuff!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      May 8, 2019 at 12:05 pm

      Good Morning, Ms. Renee. I don’t think the issue is with Northerners enjoying eating Southern Food. I lived up North for a spell and ate Southern Foods myself lol. I believe the issue is someone taking a recipe and it not being what they are saying it is due it has been mutilated by a person who has never eaten it nor understands the concept of how that specific recipe should be made or cooked. We ALL cook differently and that’s 100% fine. I like to adlib a small bit too…but it’s the ruining of a recipe and stating it’s a Southern Recipe and it’s not at all—Gumbo is one fine example of this. I am so happy you were able to enjoy traditional Southern food and that your parents are from the South–so you know what should be in a Southern Recipe and if it’s authentic or just BS.

  • Reply
    bethpierce2013
    May 7, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    I love all the colors in this flavorful dish! I will have to make this for Memorial Day!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      May 8, 2019 at 11:59 am

      Thank you, Ms. Beth. I hope you enjoy the Cowboy Caviar, it’s delish!

  • Reply
    Beth Neels
    May 7, 2019 at 11:59 am

    This is a gorgeous recipe for Cowboy Caviar! I just happen to have some black-eyed peas in my pantry and can’t wait to make this! I think I will add it to may mother’s day menu. My mom will love it!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      May 8, 2019 at 11:59 am

      Thank you, Beth, I appreciate the sweet comment.

  • Reply
    kristenione
    May 7, 2019 at 11:00 am

    We are cut from the same cloth with our taste in cuisine haha. I love this recipe! One of my favorites!

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