Cowboy Caviar

Delicious served with Glorie Seyval Blanc.
(From Wreath Fineries 2009)

If you google “Cowboy Caviar,” you’ll get a whole slew of options for recipes. This appetizer is easy, flexible, and fast! I offer a simple version here; you can make it your own – first by leaving out anything you don’t like, then perhaps substituting fresh garlic and tomatoes, using green onions instead of sweet onions, or adding dashes of lime juice, cumin, red wine vinegar, or even avocado. Adjust the amount of jalapeno peppers for more or less heat, or add a few drops of hot sauce. If time permits, you can make your own dressing. I had to make enough to feed 400+ people for each day of this event, so I hope you’ll forgive me but I took the easy road. :) You hit the trifecta with this recipe: You make it ahead of time, you don’t have to turn on the oven, and it’s not only delicious but healthy to boot! Have fun with it!

1 – 15 oz. can black beans
1 – 15 oz. can black-eyed peas
1 – 15 oz. can white corn
1 – 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1/4 cup red bell pepper, small dice
1/4 cup green bell pepper, small dice
1/3 cup jalapeno peppers, small dice
1/2 cup sweet/yellow onion, small dice
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
3/4 cup Italian dressing (I used Wishbone)

Drain and rinse the black beans in a large colander. Drain the black-eyed peas, corn and tomatoes and add them to the colandar. Toss the vegetables in the colandar so you get rid of most of the liquid.

Place green pepper, red pepper, jalapeno peppers and onion in a large bowl. Add the colander mixture. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Pour Italian dressing over all. Use a large spoon to gently turn the ingredients and coat everything with the dressing.

This is best if you can refrigerate it overnight, stirring a couple of times to re-distribute the dressing.

Serve with tortilla chips – and Glorie Wine, of course!