Texas Caviar

Texas caviar is a spicy Southwestern salad is the perfect dish to serve at your party or picnic. Black-eyed peas and black beans are mixed with an assortment of vegetables, mostly corn, red bell pepper and onion, and seasonings. This is a light and refreshing bean salad or dip that goes great with corn chips or in a lettuce cup. Make this dish the night before and let the flavors meld together. Texas caviar is a dynamite dish that everyone will love. This was a favorite picnic dish.

1 teaspoon light olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, nicely chopped
1 red bell pepper, fine-chopped
1 jalapeño (or Serrano) chile, minced( a couple more chiles if you like it hot and spicy)
1 pint super-sweet grape tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon minced jar garlic
1 can (15 oz) black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (11- 15 oz) sweet kernel corn (white shoe peg by preference)
1 bunch scallions, including light green tops, sliced across into angled rings
2 oz red wine vinegar
1 oz. quality balsamic vinegar
1 oz. light olive oil
1oz. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon each salt, ground black pepper, and garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves only

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for just a minute or two with stirring. Add bell pepper and stir for another minute. Add minced chiles and tomatoes and stir for only a couple of minutes, to slightly soften the tomatoes. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds or so. Transfer skillet contents to a large mixing bowl. Combine in the peas, beans and corn. Stir in the sliced scallions and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour sauce over the Caviar. Take most of the cilantro leaves and mince them. Add minced cilantro to the Caviar. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with remaining cilantro leaves. Serve with hearty corn chips (no wimpy chips allowed!) or serve as a side dish.

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