This recipe for Mississippi Caviar, which is completely plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free, was inspired by my mother’s Southern kitchen. I found the well-used recipe in her old, green recipe box a few years ago. I snapped a photo of it with my phone, so I could try to make it at home. My mom’s original recipe had a few less healthy additions, but the basic ingredients were still there: black-eyed peas, black beans, corn, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. A twist of lemon juice, drizzle of vinegar and olive oil, and sprinkle of herbs and spices helped bring out the healthy, fresh, satisfying flavors of this flavorful dip and accompaniment.
I absolutely adore this colorful recipe served with baked tortilla chips or whole grain pita bread for an appetizer course. It’s also good as an accompaniment with Latin fare, such as fajitas, quesadillas, and tacos. It’s really delicious as a savory relish to accompany recipes like potato casserole, lentil patties, and veggie balls. And it’s just plain good as a salad or side-dish all by itself. There are just so many great uses for this tasty, vibrant dish. It holds up well, so that you can make it one day, and enjoy it for a few days afterwords. Pack it up in your lunch box the next day. Just serve it on a big pile of leafy greens and you have a wonderful meal in one.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it is based primarily on foods you can find in your pantry—canned black-eyed peas, black beans, and corn; garlic, onions, vinegar, olive oil, dried spices. Just add a few fresh items—tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro—and you have a versatile dish whipped up in minutes! Plus, you can pack in the nutrition power of so many colorful, whole plant foods into this yummy recipe. You can easily swap out ingredients too—trade black beans for kidney beans, and cilantro for parsley. If you like a spicy bite, you can up the spice and jalapeño, too. Check out my video on how to make this recipe too.