Black-eyed Pea Salad _lowres

Photo by Helana Brigman -- John Besh's recipe for the refreshing Black-eyed Pea Salad makes plenty and can be served as a side or main dish.

Advocate-tested recipe

Black-eyed Pea Salad

Serves 10 to 12 as a side dish; 8 as an entrée. Recipe is adapted by Helana Brigman from “My Family Table” by John Besh and used by permission.

1 lb. dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight

2 tbls. bacon drippings or cooking oil

1 cup onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 ham hock (available at your local butcher)

1 gallon water plus more to soak peas

1 1/2 cups red onion, thinly sliced

2 tbls. chives, chopped

1/4 cup pepper jelly

3/4 cup walnut, pecan or mild cooking oil

1/4 cup good-quality rice wine vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. To prepare the black-eyed peas: Cover peas with water, soaking overnight, about 7 to 8 hours. Drain peas.

2. In a cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pot, warm bacon grease and onions, stirring occasionally until soft and translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and stir to combine, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Add ham hock, peas and 1 gallon of water. Cover pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reducing heat to medium-low and simmering for at least 45 minutes to an hour. If more water is needed, add to pot, cooking peas until tender.

4. To prepare black-eyed pea salad: Drain peas and remove ham hock. In a large bowl, combine red onion and chives with peas, stirring to combine.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk together pepper jelly, oil and vinegar, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over peas and mix. Season peas with additional salt and pepper as necessary. Serve cold.