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Recipe: Pink-Eyed Peas, Corn, Tomato, and Bacon Salad

Look for them at your farmers’ markets. These pretty peas are nestled in a neat row inside long, narrow pods that range in color from a light green with purple flecks to deep eggplant purple. I buy them by the bucketful and then enlist the help of my family to shell them. Once shelled, divide them into small batches; blanch and freeze them so that they’ll last you a few months. There’s nothing like eating peas long after the summer is over. When raw, these peas are crunchy, but once cooked, they become buttery and soft. Pink-eyed peas lose some of their pretty color when cooked but their flavor retains every bit of summer goodness.
Servings: 4


  • 6-8 slices bacon (about 6 oz.)
  • 3 cups shelled pink-eyed peas fresh or frozen (about 1 lb. unshelled)
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (or frozen and thawed)
  • 2 cups tomatoes seeded and chopped (any variety in season)
  • 1/4 cup yellow or white onion finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsps. apple cider or red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup corn or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper or to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Fit a large baking pan with a metal cooling rack and arrange the bacon slices on one layer; bake until crispy, about 15–17 minutes. Cool the bacon and transfer it to a cutting board; chop it roughly and set aside.
  • Place the peas in a medium pot, add enough water to cover the peas by 1 inch, and set over medium-high heat. As the water simmers, skim off the foam that rises to the top; when the water comes to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the peas until tender, about 40–45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, fill a bowl with iced water. When the peas have finished cooking, drain and immerse them into the ice bath; let them cool for 15 minutes and then drain.
  • In a large bowl, combine the peas, corn, tomatoes, onions, garlic, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Before serving, stir in the bacon and serve immediately.


From Beans & Field Peas: a Savor the South® cookbook by Sandra A. Gutierrez. Copyright © 2015 by Sandra A. Gutierrez.