From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Kwanzaa, an African-America festival, is not a religious celebration. It is, rather, a week long observance of African heritage and culture that focuses on agricultural celebrations and the sharing of food with family and community. It is based on the seven principals of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. The name of the holiday, which is observed from December 26th to January 1st, comes from the Swahili word that means first fruit of the harvest. During this time, celebrants enjoy traditional African dishes, or dishes made from ingredients the slaves brought with them to the United States. The dishes originally associated with the holiday were inspired by traditional tribal foods from various parts of Africa. These days, standards have relaxed and Southern soul food, particularly selections that come from the Low Country of South Carolina, Georgia and Northeast Florida, dominate Kwanzaa tables. In my search for dishes that might be part of the Kwanzaa feast, I found this recipe from Pat and Gina Neely. It's for a black-eyed pea salad that is similar to Cowboy Caviar. It is fast and easy to prepare and I think you might enjoy it, even if you don't observe Kwanzaa. Here's the Neely's recipe.
Black-Eyed Pea Salad...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Pat and Gina Neely
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained
1) Combine tomato, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, green onion and parsley in a bowl.
2) In a separate small bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, canola oil, sugar, and salt and pepper.
3) Toss all together and let marinate for at up to 8 hours in refrigerator before serving. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
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