Delicious mood boosting Mediterranean inspired black-eyed pea salad combining colorful vegetables, a lemony dressing and smoked salmon for an amazingly flavorful salad.
Black-eyed peas are a favorite bean in the Mediterranean diet. In Greece, we eat them often prepared as a thick stew like in this recipe for One Pot Greek Black Eyed Peas. It is so soothing and satisfying especially as the weather gets cooler. But we also love these beans in a salad, the classic way is adding some spring onion, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. Beans are often consumed with fatty fish such as sardines and anchovies. These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are not only beneficial for the heart but also appear to play an important role in mood. Inspired by that pairing, I tried something a bit different today: I used some smoked salmon to add flavor, smokiness and some good fats to this salad. Not only does it taste amazing, but it is also full of super-nutrients: good mood omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants from the colorful vegetables, beans and olive oil, fiber, and protein. It’s a complete meal and perfect for keeping your energy levels high as it will maintain your blood sugar steady.
Mediterranean Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Smoked Salmon Ingredients
- Black-Eyed Peas: I’ll be honest here, with every recipe dry beans are the best choice. They just taste better and have a nicer texture. In this case, black-eyed beans generally do not need to be soaked overnight, you can soak them for 30 minutes beforehand and they will cook quicker around 30-40 minutes. Without soaking they take about 1 hour. If your black-eyed peas are not cooked by then, they are most likely old.
If you prefer to use canned black-eyed peas make sure to rinse them well before using.
- Peppers: For this recipe I use sweet peppers, I used green and red, but you can also use yellow.
- Dill: Dill pairs perfectly with salmon and of course the beans. Fresh is best but you can substitute with dry using half of the amount.
- Smoked Salmon: Smoked salmon has an intense smoky flavor. Use wild smoked salmon if you are able to find it.
- Lemon juice: Make sure you use fresh lemon juice here.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: The fresher you can find the better. Good olive oil is important especially when used raw, an old olive oil can ruin the whole dish.
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Mediterranean Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Smoked Salmon
- 3 ½ oz 100 g dry black-eyed peas (or 1 ¼ cup cooked or canned beans)
- 1 small cucumber cubed
- 1 small green bell pepper cubed
- 1 small red pepper cubed
- 2 oz smoked salmon cut into small pieces about 2 inches (4-5 cm
- 2 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Juice and zest of ½ a lemon
- ¼ cup fresh dill chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Coarse sea salt
- If you are using dry beans, rinse the beans and place them in a pot. Cover them with water by about 3 inches. Lightly boil for about 50 minutes until tender but not falling apart or splitting. Drain and set aside.
- In a large bowl add the pepper, cucumbers, beans, salmon and most of the dill and toss gently.
- Make the dressing by mixing the olive oil with the lemon juice and zest in a small bowl or shaking it in a jar.
- Finish by sprinkling the rest of the dill, some freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of coarse sea salt.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.