Herbed Black-Eyed Pea Salsa


It finally feels like spring and this weekend we had just the perfect weather to prove it.
I love, love this time of the year when spring begins and our little part of the world feels rejuvenated.

On Saturday, our first official spring weekend of the year, we took a leisurely drive on the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Porteau Cove (more on that soon).
We lingered, but not for too long because we had a late lunch planned; a modest but good vegetarian fare with good friends.

My contribution to lunch was this black-eyed pea salsa; I really like this salsa, the concept, the textures and flavours are stirring, and it’s livened with this bold herbed sauce inspired by this magic sauce from 101 Cookbooks.
I use mostly dry herbs for this sauce and a lot of crushed pepper flakes (but you don’t have to).

My secret ingredient is baharat, a Middle Eastern spice that impacts warmth, a slight sweetness and a smoky aroma to the sauce.
The name baharat probably sounds exotic but it just means spice in Arabic, I get mine from a superb little spice company from Salt Spring Island, although I recently found a simple enough recipe, so I may start making my own.

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This is a kind of salsa that is even better the next day (or the day after…) when all the ingredients have gotten to know each other better.
It’s yummy on its own or as a dip or a side, I love how simple and yet delicious it is over rice or couscous, it’s ridiculously addictive with chips.

You could use black beans, chickpeas or your favourite type of beans, but I do prefer black-eyed peas for its creamy flavour.
Canned beans are very much ok, but if you’ve been holding off on cooking your own beans because you’re unsure (I used to be), my friend B. of the wonderful blog, Recipes from a Pantry has a handy guide on how to cook black-eyed beans.

I made a big batch hoping to have leftovers for my trip to New York tomorrow night (for which I’m very excited!).

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Herbed Black-Eyed Pea Salsa

Herb Sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon baharat (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, or more (or chipotle powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (2 teaspoons garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 11/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Mix cumin, baharat, chipotle powder, red pepper flakes, rosemary and thyme in mortar or small bowl
  2. Add garlic, tomato, lemon juice, zest and salt and mix until well combined
  3. Warm olive oil over medium-low heat in a pan
  4. When oil is just hot, stir in the herb mixture, keep stirring a few seconds (not more than a minute)
  5. Remove from heat and set aside for later use


  • 2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (or a 15.5 oz. can black-eyed peas)
  • 1 jalepeno pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 firm tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Herb Sauce (from above)


  1. Combine beans, peppers, tomatoes and onions in a large bowl
  2. Stir in herb sauce, mix well and chill for a few hours for flavours to meld



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  • Reply Bintu @ recipesfromapantry

    Hey Elsa, You know that I am soooooooooooo going to make this right? OH is going to London today and hopefully he can get some baharat (which is new to me). Will like to pin these when they become pinnable.

    27 March, 2013 at 2:15 am
    • Reply Elsa

      Yeah, I knew you probably couldn’t resist this one. I do hope OH gets you some baharat from London 🙂

      28 March, 2013 at 7:28 pm
  • Reply Deittra

    LOVE black eyed pea salads, and salsas. The seasoning mix looks devine! I have to say, I think its your traveling to New York that has finally broken the weather. Gorgeous salsa, for the most beautiful morning we’ve had in … well, a long while. ENJOY YOR TRIP!

    28 March, 2013 at 6:33 am
    • Reply Elsa

      Thanks Deittra! I’ve been here a day already and the weather’s wonderful today, there was a little rain but nothing serious, looks like great weather for the rest of the days here, so I’m excited!

      28 March, 2013 at 7:32 pm
  • Reply Kitchen Butterfly

    It looks wonderful – this is one of the ways in which I love to see what I’ve known hitherto as ‘Nigerian’ ingredients, transformed. Very nice. Enjoy your holiday.

    1 April, 2013 at 11:41 am
  • Reply Lohi

    This looks amazing! Great to see beans used another way from what I am used to!

    3 April, 2013 at 10:22 pm
    • Reply Elsa

      Thanks Lohi, I’m always finding new ways to make bean dishes, just because they’re so versatile 🙂

      4 April, 2013 at 9:37 am

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