Food & Recipes

Cowboy ‘Caviar’ Is The Perfect Party Appetizer

Yum! Here's an easy way to be the best party host.

Chips and dip are a staple at Super Bowl parties, or really any party where you want to be sure your guests have a good time. However, 2019 might be the year to rethink your standard dip routine. Goodbye, Velveeta. Move over, refried beans. Let’s hop in the DeLorean and go back in time to the 1940s, when cowboy “caviar” was on the table of every hostess with the mostess.

Have you heard of this kitschy dish? Also known as Texas caviar (though some culinary experts argue that “Oklahoma caviar” would be more appropriate), cowboy caviar is a hearty dip of black-eyed peas, diced bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, corn and cilantro, mixed up with a sugar-and-vinegar dressing that gives it a sweet tang.

In today’s modern recipes, you will find many twists on the original version. Some cooks include garbanzo beans or pinto beans in their recipe, or even omit the black-eyed peas.

Culinary Hill’s straightforward recipe calls for mixing a dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar and a quarter-cup of sugar. Chop up your veggies and stir them together with a can each of black-eyed peas and black beans (drained and rinsed). Once everything is blended together, it needs to go into the refrigerator so those flavors can marinate.

Culinary Hill

Red wine vinegar brings in the needed acid factor, but you can also swap it for white wine vinegar or regular vinegar if that’s all you have handy. You can also mix in feta cheese, black olives, edamame (shelled and cooked) or whatever other chopped veggies you like. The recipe at Spend With Pennies calls for avocado, which is pure genius.

Spend With Pennies

That quarter-cup of sugar I mentioned earlier might sound like a lot of sweet to offset the vinegar tang. If it’s too much, you can leave it out. Kate of Cookie and Kate (Cookie is her dog!) was concerned about hidden ingredients in the store-bought Italian dressing that some cowboy caviar recipes call for, so she created this recipe that calls for whipping up a dressing of your own.

Her recipe uses black beans and black-eyed peas, plus lots of vegetable goodies, and the dressing uses olive oil, red wine vinegar, plenty of spices and just a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup.

Cookie and Kate

Yum! The good news for your guests is that these recipes are gluten-free and vegan (unless you add cheese), so you’ll be presenting a dish everyone can enjoy. Just serve it up with hearty tortilla chips that can handle some heavy lifting. Yeehaw!