The first time I ever tried Cowboy Caviar, Memphis and I had just returned from a 10 day road trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico where we ate and drank our way through the August South West savoring the smoky flavors of green chilies. I became so enamored with Cowboy Caviar, I committed a recipe to memory in honor of our best-ever (so far!) road trip. It soon became a staple in our home.
To make quick work of chopping so many different vegetables (except the tomatoes!) we use a vegetable chopper dubbed “the slammer.” This cuts down on prep time, especially if one person cuts the veggies to fit on the grid and another slams them through.
The dressing makes this extremely portable bean salad even tastier after 24 hours when the flavors meld. You can purchase beans in cans if you’re pressed for time. If you want to make a lot more for about the same money, for that big family reunion or a potluck summer picnic, soak dried beans and cook separately. The heart of the recipe is black-eyed peas, white beans, pinto beans, and corn. Ramp up the color variation even more by using small red or kidney beans instead of pinto beans.
1-2 C. navy beans (cooked)
1-2 C. black-eyed peas (cooked)
1-2 C. pinto beans (cooked)
3/4 C. sweet corn (canned, or fresh cut)
1/2 C. chopped celery cubed
1/2 small red onion diced
1/2 C. yellow bell pepper chopped
1/2 C. green Anaheim or Poblano pepper chopped
1 green jalapeno minced (optional)
2 large tomatoes diced
1/3 C. Black olives minced
1/3 C. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C. Apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp dried cilantro (I Tbsp fresh)
1 tsp smoked chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground coriander
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Drain the beans and reserve the liquid for a future use.
Add to a large non-metallic bowl.
Add vegetables to the bowl as they’re chopped.
Once all ingredients are in the bowl, stir gently with a spoon so as not to mash the beans.
When thoroughly mixed pour the dressing over the mix.
Stir again until veggies are well coated.
Garnish with cubed avocado and serve as a side or as a chunky salsa with corn chips.