The fried capers in this Black Eyed Bean Salad add a delightful tangy crunch while the cherry tomatoes add a subtle sweetness – yum!
This salad is ideal on its own or you can serve it as a side at your next barbecue or take it your next picnic – it travels well. It pairs well with most meats, poultry and seafood, I had mine with some tuna flakes.
For the salad…
- 400 grams black-eyed beans (from a can 1)
- 400 grams cherry tomato medley
- ½ green capsicum (pepper)
- 1 red onion or French shallot (a small one)
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
For the basil caper dressing…
- 2 cloves garlic (roasted)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup basil leaves (torn)
- ¼ cup capers (drained and well rinsed)
For the garnish…
- ¼ cup basil leaves (chiffonade2)
- ¼ cup capers
To make your salad…
- Drain your can of beans in a colander and rinse well under cold water (the water should run clear). Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Wash your cherry tomatoes under cold running water, pat dry and cut in half. Transfer to your bowl.
- Wash your capsicum, remove the seeds and core, then chop into small dice. Transfer to your bowl.
- Remove the papery skin from your onion, trim the ends, then cut into small dice. Transfer to your bowl.
- Place all the dressing ingredients into a small food processor and blitz until well combined, add 3-4 tablespoons of water to loosen if it is too thick.
To fry the capers…
- Drain a ¼ cup of capers and rinse well.
- Heat some olive oil (approximately 3-4 tablespoon in a small frypan until very hot.
- Add the capers and cook for about 2 minutes, moving them around gently with a slotted spoon.
- They should "flower" and look light brown and golden then drain on paper towels to dry.
Putting it all together…
- Pour the dressing over the salad and mix until the salad is well coated with the dressing. Taste adjust seasonings to your taste.
- Arrange the salad in a salad platter and garnish with the shredded basil and fried capers. Serve and enjoy!
- Refer to the instructions in the post below if you would like to boil your own black-eyed peas. Just allow time for soaking (approximately 24 hours) and for boiling (approximately 30 minutes). It is well worth the extra time and effort!
- Chiffonade is a slicing technique where leafy green vegetables and herbs such as spinach, basil, sorrel, etc. are cut into long, thin strips. To do this stack the leaves on top of each other, gently roll them into a cigar, and then use a sharp knife to slice them into thin ribbons.
This video is courtesy of Corey Marsey.
Dry Beans vs. Canned
There is no doubt about canned beans are just so much more convenient. In a few minutes, you have opened your can, rinsed in your strainer and you are good to go.
However, my personal preference is to always invest the additional time it takes to prepare dried beans as they are so much tastier and much more nutritious than anything you can get out of a can. Plus they are much cheaper therefore much better value.
If you can opt for beans that are sold loose in bins from specialty shops and some supermarkets as they tend to be a lot fresher and therefore a lot easier to cook. We all have a story of the bean that took forever to cook – and that relates directly to its freshness.
Dry bean conversions…
Below are a few rough
- A cup of dried beans = to a 400 gram (14 ounce) can of beans
- 450 grams (1 pound) of dried beans = Up to 6 cups of cooked beans
- 1 cup dried beans = 3 cups of cooked beans
- ⅓ cup dried beans = 1 cup cooked beans
- ⅔ cup dried beans = 2 cups cooked beans
Cooking your dry beans…
- Firstly soak your beans in cold water ideally overnight or for at least 5 hours. Make sure that you use a large bowl as they will expand considerably.
- After they have soaked, drain in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water.
- Then place them in a large pan and cover them with plenty of cold water. You will need at least 5 cm (2 inches)on top of your beans.
- Bring the beans to the boil, scoop of any scum that forms. At this point add a little salt, too much salt (or anything acidic such as lemon) beforehand will harden the skin.
- Then simmer gently until they are tender, approximately 1 to 1½ hours, adding more water as needed. While your beans are simmering you can add some aromatics such onions, garlic, herbs, or spices to infuse your beans with added flavour as they cook.