There is a long southern tradition of serving Black-eyed Peas on New Year’s Day to ensure prosperity in the coming year. The “eyes” represent money so the more the better! Like many southern “vegetable” dishes I grew up with, most recipes rely heavily on the transformative power of smoked ham or bacon to turn the mundane into something you’d actually want to eat, oftentimes, the veggies are cooked to oblivion, but who cares?  This recipe is a lighter take on the idea – meat-free and refreshing – perhaps more palatable after a night of bidding good riddance to a year of woe. Serves 12-14 as a side.


6 oz. long grain wild rice, cooked 

2 cups cooked white or brown rice

1/2 c. chopped red onion

1/4 cup finely sliced green onion

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine

1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped fine

1 fat clove garlic, minced fine

2 cans black-eyed peas or about 2 cups cooked – drain and rinse the canned ones. 


1/4 neutral olive oil

1/3 c. red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon dijon mustard

2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced

salt and black pepper to taste

Combine all in an old jam jar and shake to emulsify, refrigerate to set.

While rices are still warm, combine all ingredients and dress with most of the dressing. Taste and adjust to your desire. Refrigerate until ready to serve, mix well again and taste. Add more dressing if needed.  I like to serve this as a part of a brunch-spread that includes all that delicious meat you excluded from this dish. Happy New Year!

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