A few years ago I found a recipe for Texas Caviar, and I have to admit, I made it for the first time because I loved the novelty of the name! Now, I continue to make it because I would eat a cracker with Texas Caviar on it than Sturgeon Caviar any day (and my friends keep asking me when I’m making the next batch!). It seems to appeal to all tastes: it’s chunky and fresh, spicy, nutritious, savory, and good by itself straight from the jar, on any dish, or just with tortilla chips!
I am not one to follow recipes strictly, so every batch turns out differently. I experiment with different peppers, types of tomatoes, vinegars, and more, but there is one rule I usually stick to with salsas: the more colorful, the more tasty!
The ingredient in Panda Jam Texas Caviar include: Black Eyed Peas, Tomatoes, Green and/or Red Bell Pepper, Red Onion, Garlic, Cilantro,
Vinegar, Olive Oil, Lemon or Lime Juice, Salt, Pepper, and a pepper (most often Jalapeno, but sometimes I’ll use Chipotle Peppers in Adobe sauce for a more smoky, savory flavor).
About the ingredients:
Black Eyed Peas: I usually use organic canned beans since they already contain some natural preservatives and salt, but you could also use dry beans soaked in a water bath overnight. You must have Black Eyed Peas or else it isn’t Texas Caviar!
Tomatoes: I use all types of tomatoes. The tomatoes used in Panda Jam batches are grown locally, and hopefully I can start using heirloom tomatoes this month.
Bell Peppers: These add a nice, fresh crunch to the salsa, as well as a sweet note.
Red Onion: I prefer red onion when using fresh onion, as they are not as bitter as yellow or white onions, which I usually would use while cooking or making a roasted/blended salsa.
Garlic: I love garlic, and nobody can ever tell how many cloves (or heads!) is too much!
Cilantro: I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a fan of cilantro, but I know when a salsa or guacamole is missing it. This herb just belongs in Texas Caviar!
Olive Oil and Vinegar: The two essential ingredients that can always be added to a salsa. They act as both binding ingredients and add many dimensions of flavors. When I lived in Wisconsin, I used to buy bulk oil and vinegar from Vom Fass. Does anybody know where I can buy vinegar like that in Brooklyn!?
Peppers: I find that Jalapeno peppers add a quicker spice, one that really hits your lips right away, whereas the Chipotle peppers create more of a dark, lingering spice. This week I’ve used Jalapeno peppers, but feel free to ask what I have available that day!
I hope you enjoy my Texas Caviar as much as my roommates and family do!