The NBA All Star Game just happened in Salt Lake City. The evening news was filled with amazing events and activities happening all over the city. Living in Utah, I was swept up in the excitement as well. My family gathered to watch the game, and of course, my mind went to what kind of food I could serve.
My thoughts were directed to Cowboy Salsa. Some people call it Cowboy Caviar, which is a little fancy for me, but it is the same dish with corn, beans, black eyed peas, tomatoes, avocados mixed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It has definitely been an appetizer I serve year round. It is fresh and filled with wonderful flavors.
How to Make Cowboy Salsa
1. This appetizer is so easy to make. You really do not need any instructions for this dish. Open the cans! Open the packets of dry salad dressing. Pour on some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and add chopped tomatoes, avocados and cilantro.
2. Open and drain the cans of black eyed peas and black beans. Pour the contents in a strainer and rinse the beans. The beans are canned with water and salt. The salt gives the beans a long shelf life. The salt and water mixed with the beans creates a thick viscous liquid. When making soups, you can add this liquid to your soup and it will season and thicken it. In Cowboy Salsa you want the beans rinsed. This way you will taste the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and all the other fresh ingredients.
Corn and black beans mixed together make a complete protein, for satisfaction. It is not only an appetizer, you can eat it as a meal.
3. Drain the corn. Open the cans but leave a little bit of the lid attached to the can. Holding the lid shut, turn the can upside down and drain the water out. Put all the contents of the cans in a large bowl.
The great thing about this recipe is the combination of a grain with a legume. When you mix a grain (corn, rice, wheat, barley) with a legume (beans, peas, lentils) you have a complete protein. Cowboy Salsa is so satisfying due to complete protein of the corn and bean combination.
4. Cut the tomatoes and avocados. Slice off the tops and bottoms of the tomatoes. Make thin slices and divide the tomato into 4 or 5 rounds slices. Lay the rounds flat on a cutting board. Cut across the slices and then turn a quarter turn and cut the other direction.
5. Cut the avocados. Take the stem out of the avocado and throw it away. Use your knife to cut all the way around the avocado in a complete circle. Your knife should find the large seed inside and use that as a guide as you cut around the avocado. Place your hands on each side and twist in opposite directions. Pull the two pieces apart.
Set the avocado on the counter. Using your knife come down on the nut until the blade sticks in the nut. Twist and the nut should easily turn and come out. Throw this away.
Holding one half of the avocado in your hand, slice from the top to the bottom in 1/8″ slices. Use a soup spoon and place it between the skin and the meat of the avocado. In one motion, scoop out all the slices of the half of the avocado.
If you want chunks of avocados, turn the avocado a quarter turn and cut the other direction.
Slicing An Avocado
6. Dice the cilantro into small pieces. Then add the diced tomatoes, avocados and cilantro on top of the beans, peas and corn in the large bowl.
7. Pour on two packages of Good Seasons Dry Italian Dressing. Add the olive oil and balsamic dressing and mix well.
Cowboy Salsa is hard to resist when it is fresh. So serve it up with corn chips and enjoy. I love
Cowboy Salsa for left overs the next day. After it has been refrigerated for an hour or two, all the flavors have time to marry together. Usually, I cannot wait that long, but left overs are my favorite!
Here are a few products I like to use when making Cowboy Salsa
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- 2 Cans Black Beans
- 2 Cans Whole Kernel Corn
- 2 Cans Black Eyed Peas
- 4 Tomatoes chopped
- 2 Avocados diced
- 1/2 Bunch Cilantro chopped
- 1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Pkgs. Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing
- 1 Bag Tortilla Chips
- Open the cans of beans, peas and corn. Drain and rinse the beans and peas. Pour into a large bowl.
- Chop the tomatoes and avocados into small cubes. Add to the bowl of beans, peas and corn.
- Chop cilantro into small pieces and place on top of avocado and tomatoes.
- Pour the dry packages of salad dressing on top of everything and then add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Mix well and serve.
- Making Cowboy Salsa an hour or two before serving intensifies the flavors. Cover and refrigerate.