Mavromatika Fassolia Salata

Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Herbs, Walnuts and Pomegranates

THIS SALAD, accented by crunchy, slightly sour purslane and sweet pomegranates, comes from the island of Chios. It probably originated in Turkey, where more than a million Greeks lived up until 1922, when they had to abandon their homes and return to the mainland as refugees after the last Greek-Turkish war.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed (see Note)
  • 5–6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3–4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely ground walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup torn purslane (see Note)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped arugula
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds

Method

Place the peas in a medium saucepan, add cold water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes; drain. Add fresh water to just cover the peas and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the peas are tender. Drain and let cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, walnuts, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

In a serving bowl, combine the peas, purslane (if using), parsley and arugula. Pour the dressing over them and toss well. Taste to adjust the seasonings, sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and serve.

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