Picnic Caviar

Picnic Caviar close up

I was looking for something fun and easy and new to take to Michael Bacon’s bbq last week where there would be me (a vegetarian) and also a staunch vegan and ALSO many meat eaters. Whew! The last time I was invited to a shindig that required some food-makin’ was Matt and Jette’s “Amazing Race” finale party a few Sundays ago. I made the Warm Mediterranean Lentil Salad for that engagement, but let’s face it…Jake and I had had that salad TWICE in that past week and we really needed something different this time. So I was perusing the Vegetarian Times website for recipes involving pinto beans and found this lovely little dish. “BINGO!” I said, and it was decided. We happen to have a large amount of pinto beans in the house at the moment so I figured this would be the perfect way to use some of them up before moving next week. Plus…I mean…LOOK at this recipe. It is SO EASY! I have a feeling I am going to use this a lot when I move to Tucson and need something chilled and protein-filled to get me through the week. No idea why they call it “picnic caviar”…I guess whoever invented the recipe just decided it was THAT GOOD.

Oh yes…I graduated with my Masters degree last Saturday morning. The parents arrived from their cross-country roadtrip of epic proportions around noon on Friday. They were here till Tuesday afternoon and then Jake and I started packing IMMEDIATELY and QUICKLY because we’re moving on the 20th (which is tomorrow)…a mere 2 days after my folks leave. YIKES! Busy busy here in Arizona! We are moving down to Tucson where I’ll be starting a new Masters program, this time in Library Science. Actually I start the program on the 16th of May, but it’s a reading period before a required on-site week long session. So I can move and read at the same time. No worries.

Anyway, make this recipe. It was a huge hit and I didn’t have a single bit left over to take home by the end of the night.

Picnic Caviar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz. can pinto beans or black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups fresh (or canned, drained and rinsed) corn kernels
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, finely chopped (1 cup)
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 2-oz. can diced green chiles with liquid
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. Whisk together vinegar, oil, sugar, garlic, oregano, and basil in large bowl.
2. Stir in black and pinto beans, corn, bell pepper, onion, chiles, and cilantro.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Michael Baconator chows down some Picnic Caviar

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2 thoughts on “Picnic Caviar

  1. Pingback: Wolffie’s Black Bean and Lentil Salad | A Poet in the Kitchen

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