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Black-eyed Boom-Boom Salad

Written By Pam Brandon and Anne-Marie Denicole On April 14, 2010

A boom-boom booty-licious salad to rock your world—or at least the next back yard barbecue. Tossed in a lemony, ginger blackeye_pea_saladvinaigrette featuring the bold, bright flavors of India, black-eyed peas have never sounded so good. In just 10 tasty minutes, create an edgy, do-ahead sidekick for grilled chicken, shrimp or fish—or serve as a light-and-healthy veggie supper with toasted naan or pita bread. And did we mention it’s low in fat, high in potassium, iron and, especially, fiber?

Black-eyed Boom-Boom Salad

Serves 6

1 tablespoon ginger paste

Juice of 1 lemon

Coarse salt, to taste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

2 (14-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained

3 roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds


In a medium salad bowl, whisk together the ginger paste, lemon juice, salt, cumin and cayenne, if using. Add the peas, tomatoes, red onion and cilantro, gently tossing.


Heat a small skillet over high heat and add the canola oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the mustard seeds, covering the pan with a spatter screen. When the seeds are finished popping, pour the mixture over the salad. Allow flavors to develop for 30 minutes before serving cold or at room temperature.


Diva confessions: Ginger paste is one of those handy-dandy taste sensations that’s easy to use; look for the squeeze tube in the produce section of your grocery store. As for chopping onions, unless they’re tears of joy, the divas would just as soon not ruin their mascara—so we advocate chilling before chopping. Let’s get technical: cutting into an onion kicks up propanethol S-oxide that emits an upwardly mobile sulfur compound. As the rising gas mingles with the moisture in our eyes, it produces sulfuric acid, which causes tear production to flush the burn away. Chilling an onion alters these compounds and slows the amount of gas released. An hour or so in the fridge before taking a whack should preserve those tears for a happier occasion.

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