One of Helen Corbitt’s most lasting contributions to Texas cuisine also happened to be one of her earliest.
During Helen’s employment with the University of Texas in Austin—and before she went on to popularize the Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus in Dallas— she came up with “Texas Caviar,” a savory take on black-eyed peas.
Here’s the Texas Highways variation of the recipe, as it was printed in the magazine’s 2005 cookbook Cooking With Texas Highways.
- 1 lb. dried black-eyed peas OR 5 cups canned and drained black-eyed peas
- 2 c. Italian salad dressing
- 2 c. diced green pepper
- 1½ c. diced onion
- 1 c. finely chopped green onion
- ½ c. finely chopped jalapeño
- 1 (3-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained
- 1 T. finely chopped garlic
- salt to taste
- hot pepper sauce to taste
Soak dried peas in enough water to cover for six hours or overnight; drain well. Transfer peas to a saucepan, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce head and cook until tender, about 45 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain well and place peas in a large bowl. Blend in dressing and let cool. Add remaining ingredients, mix well, and chill. Yield: 7½ cups.