Hold 'Em: Helen Corbitt's Texas Caviar

Looking for that perfect picnic side dish? I was too. I've made Ina's French Potato Salad a million times and I wasn't looking for an appetizer so hummus was out. I've made plenty of soups recently (Summer Squash with Thai Curry Paste, Chilled Cucumber Soup, Cauliflower Soup with Mustard Croutons) but now what I was really looking for was a bona fide side dish. I also wanted to increase my legume intake. I stumbled upon this flavorful (and simple) recipe for "Texas Caviar"  when I was going through old copies of Saveur Magazine (I also got reacquainted with this winner for Chocolate Caramel Tart). I've had eggplant caviar, but never Texas caviar... until now.
There are some nice bold flavors in this side thanks to the chile, vinegar, cilantro and red onion. It's also 'no-cook' which, if you are a Sparrows & Spatulas fan, know is something that is very important to me as the mercury rises (and rises and rises). Oy! With an elderly canine, a toddler and a baby-on-the-way (one that is now past due), sitting in a really hot kitchen isn't my idea of a good time.  
This is so easy.  Just mix the ingredients and chill.  
Texas Caviar (Courtesy of Saveur Magazine)
2  15-oz. cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1⁄4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1⁄2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1⁄4 red onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl; season with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Serve on top of lettuce leaves.
I think the black eyed peas would go very nicely with 101 Cookbook's Tofu Burgers with Nuts and Mushrooms which was one of my first blog posts! Enjoy!