As the seasons change, so do the recipes and components of meals my family prefers. However, one thing that doesn’t change is our unswerving fondness for black-eyed peas. During those cold and dry winter days, we enjoyed warming up with a bowl of rosemary black-eyed pea soup with kale. Now with summer here, I love to serve my family all sorts of chilled salad dishes.
Today’s recipe, black-eyed pea salad with quinoa and spicy cauliflower, is one of those salad dishes. It’s simple, healthy, and a complete-meal type of salad that I strongly recommend you make this summer. My husband liked it so much that I had to keep a close eye on him so he wouldn’t overindulged himself to the point of bursting.
We love black-eyed peas because of its subtle legume taste. It makes it perfect to use as the major salad ingredient without its being the dominant flavor. The chewy red quinoa, cooked soft black-eyed peas, and roasted spicy cauliflower is a fantastic combination both in texture and flavor. With the addition of fresh garden herbs, garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice, I’m confident everybody at the table will be pleased with how tasty it is.
I had mentioned in my cauliflower soup post that I used to hate cauliflower. Ever since I made this simple stir-fried spicy cauliflower, it totally changed my fondness for cauliflower. Since Leo always loved it, I thought it would be a good idea to add it to this salad. The result is absolutely amazing. Cauliflower tastes so delicious when the hot chili and garlic flavors are infused into it. It baffles me that a vegetable that used to make me gag when prepared by my dad, now tastes so good when prepared this way.
I often try to limit the number of ingredients in an effort to make a dish simple yet still be tasty. Some days, though, I can’t resist the temptation to stray from this “Keep it simple stupid” principle, and I’ll add a large variety of herbs and spices. Like this recipe, I picked up some thriving basils and chives from my garden and tossed them in the salad. They added a bit of extra spiciness and sweetness to the salad. They also pair very well with the lemon, garlic, and spicy flavors.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time in your kitchen when you make this complete-meal salad. I always use my presto pressure cooker to cook legumes. It saves my time and energy dramatically. After you make the recipe, you can store it in the refrigerator for a few hours and let the flavors soak into the black-eyed peas and quinoa.
Are you ready to pack some to take to work, a picnic, or a potluck party? Or just invite some friends over for a simple and healthy lunch? Don’t be surprised when your friends ask you for the recipe.
- 2 cups roasted spicy cauliflower (see note)
- 2 cups cooked red quinoa
- 3 cups cooked black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- 9 large sweet basil leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest (from half of a large lemon)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed from half of a large lemon
- ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce (gluten-free if desired)
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large mixing bowl, gently toss together all the ingredients. Cover the bowl with lid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.