This bright and vibrant Cowboy Caviar, also know as Texas caviar, is a delicious option for casual parties and tailgating. While it's scrumptious served with tortilla chips for dipping, it can also be used as a side dish or as a topping for salads and tacos. Regardless, it adds punch and flavor to any meal.
I'm a vegetable fan of all kinds. I suppose that's why a simple and fresh side like this cowboy caviar is so appealing. You can use it to top casseroles like my Southwest Casserole with Sweet Corn Crust or Cornbread Crusted Taco Pie. It goes equally well with taco salads and tacos, too. I've also been know to create a sort of Southwestern-style fried rice using this as a main ingredient in the mix. I think, it's super fun to make fusion dishes and incorporate flavors from different cuisines into one fabulous dish. Flexible recipes are a frugal cook's best friend and this dish fits that mold.
Tips for Success:
- You can make this salad up to 2 days in advance.
- It's important to wait until just before serving to add the diced avocado so, it will maintain it's color and not oxidize and turn brown before serving.
- Salt is a seasoning that is completely subjective. It's important to taste and add more, or less, to personalize the amount to your taste.
- You may use a different combination of beans in the same amount, if preferred. For example, if you aren't a fan of black eyed peas, pinto beans work well in this dish, too.
- For more snacking inspiration checkout my Parade article featuring 30 Touchdown Snacks for Football Parties and Tailgating.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 1 14 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 14 oz can black eyed peas drained and rinsed
- 1 14 oz can whole kernel sweet corn drained
- 4 medium Roma tomatoes diced
- 1 medium poblano pepper seeded and diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 1 medium red onion diced
- ⅓ cup roughly chopped cilantro optional
- 2 medium avocados peeled and cubed
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar or honey
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dark chili pepper or paprika
- 1 tsp granulated garlic or 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp onion powder
- few dashes hot sauce i.e. Cholula or Valentina optional
- ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together, tomatoes, black beans, black eye peas, corn, poblano, red pepper, onion and cilantro. (Reserve avocado to add before serving.)
- To make the dressing: In a small mixing bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, sugar, cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion powder and hot sauce. Slowly drizzle in the oil whisking constantly until slightly thickened.
- Pour dressing over the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Chill in an airtight container for 4 hours.
- Mix avocado into the cowboy caviar just before serving as an appetizer with tortilla chips, a side dish or as a topping for salads and tacos.