Senegal is famous for its delicious cuisine, but not as famous as it should be! I was happy to come across this simple recipe for a salad – http://www.latimes.com/style/la-fo-yolele3-2008dec03,0,4706934.story – which features black eyed peas, or niébé, something that’s commonly used in Senegal, for example in the form of accara, fritters made out of mashed black eyed peas (another tasty recipe here: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Senegal-Black-Eyed-Pea-Fritters). One thing I personally like most about the food in Senegal is how fruits and vegetables are often mixed in savoury salads – greens, mangos and avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers and papaya, and so on, dressed with lime juice or mayonnaise, or served with mozzarella, eggs or chicken… So I added some grapefruit to the mix here, to try and re-create this approach.
Recipe: Senegalese black eyed pea salad
- One handful of black eyed peas, also called black eyed beans
- About fifteen, 250 g cherry tomatoes
- Half a cucumber
- One red bell pepper
- One lime
- Half a grapefruit
- Fresh parsley
- One chili, or chili seeds
- Some olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- This salad does require some planning, since the peas have to first be soaked in cold water for at least two hours, or better overnight.
- Afterwards, place them in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil and let cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes or until soft. You can add some salt when the water is boiling to add flavour.
- Drain the peas and give them a quick rinse with cold water.
- Meanwhile, chop up the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper and parsley and mix everything in a bowl.
- Cut the grapefruit in half and carefully carve out the individual segments along the membranes with a sharp knife. You will probably use just a few, otherwise the salad may get too sour.
- Mix in the peas when they are ready, add the chili, lime juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the grapefruit slices on top.
- Pierre Thiam recommends to let the salad rest for a while to develop the flavour, but I ate it right away and it tasted good too! Enjoy!