A simple salad made with pigeon peas and crunchy vegetables tossed in a lemon dressing. Makes a great side dish or light lunch.
For the life of me I can't remember what meal I made this salad to accompany (it was probably something like rotisserie chicken or something else store bought). I do remember that this was very flavorful and delicious. Luckily I actually wrote the ingredients down. I had about 1 cup of dried pigeon peas in my pantry and I wanted to add some sort of legume to my meal for the added fiber. I usually keep all kinds of dried beans and lentils but this time I was out of lentils and I didn't have the time to cook beans (and I was all out of the precooked beans I like to keep in the freezer). So when I noticed the pigeon peas that decided it. I used raw celery and carrots to give this salad a nice healthy crunch.
Pigeon peas are a small legume in the bean family and they look very similar to black eyed peas just maybe smaller. They are high in protein and fiber and low in fat so they are pretty nutritious and filling. Since they are so small they cook in a much shorter time than beans (1-2 hours with no pre-soaking needed) which is perfect for what I wanted. If you don't have pigeon peas you can probably substitute black eyed peas.
Pigeon Pea Salad
1 cup died pigeon peas
2 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 shallots, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp oregano
Pick through the peas to make sure there are no rocks or debris. Then add to a large sauce pan and cover with at least 1 inch of water (for more flavor you can cook in broth). Cover the pan and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and cook for about 1-2 hours or until tender.
Drain and rinse the peas and add to a large bowl with the vegetables. Mix thoroughly then, in a separate small bowl, mix together garlic, shallots, lemon juice, oil, and oregano.
Pour the oil mixture over the peas and vegetables and toss to combine. Lastly add salt and pepper to taste.
You can serve immediately but I prefer to let it sit for a while so the flavors meld (just toss again before serving). It's good either cold or room temperature.
Makes 4-6 servings (depending on if you have it as a side or a meal).
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