Monday, May 31, 2010

A Salad - For Dinner!

Even though it's only the last day of May, we are already into summer weather. The lilacs are done, the lavender is close to blooming and the humidity has already begun. Ugh, the humidity! Some people love the hot sticky, I do not. I get stupid and slow like molasses. Oh yeah, and cranky too, just ask Mr. Sweet Kitchen. Some people can't eat when it's really hot, I can. I only wish I wouldn't get hungry, but I do. Sigh, my appetite knows no limits. But who wants to turn the oven on - certainly not me - but I'm hungry. Enter the dinner salad. Thinking of this salad makes my mouth water I love it so much. The recipe is based on the "Louisiana Black-eyed Pea Salad" from the Moosewood Daily Specials cookbook and it rocks, well now it rocks with all the changes we've made.

Louisiana Black-eyed Pea Salad

serves 4 - 6

1 19oz can black eyed peas
5 oz dry whole wheat macaroni

3 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 t Tabasco, or more to taste
1 T sugar
1/4 t liquid smoke
1 T pureed chipotle in adobo sauce
1 T Tabasco Chipotle sauce
1/4 to 1/2 t ground cloves
1 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 C olive oil
1/4 C BBQ sauce (any of the Diana's brand are good and they are preservative free)

1 C small dice celery
1 C small dice red pepper
1/2 C small dice red onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz aged Cheddar small dice
salt and pepper to taste

Cook macaroni to al dente stage. Please don't cook it until it's soft because it won't hold it's shape when you start mixing it all together and the texture of soft pasta is just awful, so don't do it. Drain and cool in fridge. Drain canned peas and tip into large bowl. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and taste, adjust seasonings if need be and set dressing aside. In my opinion a small dice on the veggies is what gives this salad it's appeal. You get bursts of flavour and a bit of crunch and it all works so well together. Go ahead and dice the veggies, garlic and cheese and add to the peas in the large bowl. Add the cooled macaroni and now add the dressing. Toss to mix well, adjust seasoning and let sit for about 15 minutes before serving.
This salad is flexible - feel free to add cherry tomatoes, or use all beans and skip the macaroni, or use smoked Gouda instead of the cheddar - it's all good!
If you have a side burner on your BBQ, use it to cook your macaroni instead of your stove to keep the kitchen cooler.


  1. Jen, OH MY GOSH! I am going to praise you! About a couple of months ago, I was just at a restaurant and had something similar to this. I had no idea what to call it when I was searching. You are wonderful for sharing this! Now, I'd love to try! I'm being a salad freak lately!

  2. I'll be making this for sure. Thanks for the recipe!