OAKLAND – Black-Eyed Pea Salad





In the Bay Area San Francisco seems to get all the attention.  But across the bay in Oakland they have their own culture too.  Admittedly in the few times I’ve been to Fog City I’ve only ventured once over to Oakland.  But I got turned on to some great live blues and soul food combination that have stayed with me for a long time.  Soul Food is still very popular in Oakland I read so I want to pay homage to my one and only experience in Oakland.  Which is fitting of course because this is the last year the Raiders play in Oakland before moving to Las Vegas.

There is a lot of great Soul Food out there and not just in the Southeast although it has its origins there.  You can find great Soul Food restaurants in almost every major U.S. city.  We have done a lot of chicken and pork already and will do more again in the coming weeks and months.  These are protein staples for any Soul Food menu as is seafood.  I want to do more sides and vegetables with y’all and this gives me the chance to do a little of both.  Black-eyed peas are a regularly featured side dish in Soul Food cuisine.  Not everyone is fond of them but I am.  I’m doing them as a salad, so you can bring them on a picnic.  I think they are best at room temperature, so they fit any occasion and go great with any meal.

My key addition is roasted red pepper.  This is one of a very select food item group that I don’t mind using from a jar.  It saves a lot of time and you get better consistency.  If you want to make your own.  Turn your oven on to 500 degrees F, rub a little olive oil on a red bell pepper, and place on baking sheet.  When the oven is ready roast the pepper for about 20 minutes until the skin is blackened.  Remove from the oven and place the pepper in a paper bag until cool enough to handle.  When cool enough to handle peel all the skin off the pepper.  Remove the stem and seeds and chop the flesh accordingly.






1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 cup diced Red Onion

2 Garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 lb. bag frozen Black-Eyed Peas, thawed and drained

½ cup Chicken Stock or more if needed

2 Celery stalks diced

¾ cup Roasted Red Pepper dice (see note above)

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ TBSP White Wine Vinegar

Juice of ½ Lemon

1 TBSP Sugar

½ TSP Fine Sea Salt or more if desired

¼ TSP Fresh Ground Black Pepper or more if desired

1 TBSP Fresh Tarragon Leaves, delicately chopped



  1. In a medium frying pan over medium heat warm the Olive Oil
  2. Add the Red Onion and sauté for 2 minutes
  3. Add the Garlic and sauté 1 minute longer
  4. Add the Black-Eyed Peas and the Chicken Stock. Cook until all the Stock is absorbed, and the Black-Eyed Peas are heated through.  Add more Stock if necessary.
  5. Remove the contents of the pan into a large bowl
  6. To the bowl add the Celery and Roasted Red Pepper. Stir a few times gently.  Allow to cool a bit before adding the dressing.
  7. In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients and whisk together until blended thoroughly
  8. Add the dressing in the small bowl to the large bowl. Toss the salad a few times to blend with the dressing and serve.


WINE PAIRING:  Once again this is a side dish so it all depends on what you are having with it.  This particular dish will pair better with a lighter, fruitier White Wine.

Author: Steve Melchior

I am a lover of many eclectic things; food, wine, art, music, travel, sports, movies, literature and of course The Grateful Dead. I combine all these interests into great ideas for food preparation and entertaining with friends and family.

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