Zamzows Table: Cowboy Caviar

Zamzows Table: Cowboy Caviar

While I can't say that I have ever had caviar, this delicious take on ceviche is an easy and versatile way to boost the flavor of any dish. Like ceviche, the vinegar and cilantro add brightness to this flavorful dip. It's perfectly enjoyable with a bowl of tortilla chips, but I've found it to be a delicious topping for quesadillas or a great addition to street tacos! The ability to gather many of your ingredients from your home garden puts this recipe over the top.

- 1 can of drained black-eyed peas (From the store)
- 1 can of drained black beans (From the store)
- 3 medium tomatoes, diced (From the garden)*
- Kernels from 3 ears of corn, cleaned and removed (From the garden)
- 1 diced red bell pepper (From the garden)
- 1 diced jalapeno pepper (From the garden)
- Juice from one lime (From the store)
- 2 avocados, pitted and diced (From the store)**
- About 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro (From the garden)

For the dressing:
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (From the store)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (From the store)
- 1 tsp cumin (From the store)
- A pinch of cayenne pepper (From the store)
- 1/2 tsp honey - Try some local Ahus honey
- 1-2 cloves of finely diced garlic (From the garden)
- Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large serving bowl, mix the peas, beans, diced tomatoes, corn, red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, and lime juice.
2. Prepare the dressing by combining the ingredients and whisking them together until fully incorporated.
3. Add the dressing to the other ingredients and mix well.
4. Store the mixture in the fridge until ready to serve. ***
5. Just before serving, prepare your avocados and cilantro.
6. Remove the bowl from the fridge and add the avocados and cilantro, then incorporate them.
7. Add salt if needed and mix again.

*Feel free to use whatever tomatoes you have. I used Roma tomatoes this time as they have a lot of meat without adding too much extra moisture.
**Remember to prepare and add your avocados just before serving to prevent them from turning brown.
***Technically, you can eat this right away. However, allowing all the ingredients to sit together gives time for all the flavors to fully incorporate and mesh together.

Cowboy caviar is an easy-to-prepare and versatile dish. I particularly like that it is vegetarian. It stands on its own as a great alternative to ceviche or pico de gallo. Serve it simply with your favorite tortilla chips, or use it as a topping for your main course. Its bright flavors are sure to elevate your meal.

Acknowledging the Roots: Paying Homage to South American Cuisine

As we share this delicious Cowboy Caviar recipe with you, it is essential to recognize and honor the origins of this dish. Cowboy Caviar, inspired by the vibrant flavors of ceviche and pico de gallo, is a fusion of diverse culinary influences, with roots deeply embedded in South American cuisine.

Ceviche, a traditional South American dish, typically consists of fresh raw fish or seafood marinated in citrus juices, such as lime or lemon, along with various spices and herbs. It's known for its zesty and refreshing flavors, a true celebration of the sea. Pico de gallo, on the other hand, hails from Mexico, showcasing the natural taste of tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and chili peppers, resulting in a tangy and spicy salsa.

Cowboy Caviar, while not originally from South America, draws inspiration from these beloved South American dishes, incorporating similar flavors, such as lime, cilantro, and jalapeno peppers, into its delightful blend. However, it is essential to recognize that this recipe is an adaptation and should not be confused with authentic ceviche or pico de gallo.

We want to express our gratitude to the rich culinary heritage of South America, which has contributed immensely to the world of gastronomy. The diverse cultures and communities of the region have gifted us with a vast array of ingredients, cooking techniques, and flavors that continue to inspire chefs and home cooks worldwide.

As we enjoy this Cowboy Caviar, let's take a moment to remember the traditional recipes and the generations of skilled cooks who have passed down their culinary knowledge, preserving and sharing their cultural heritage through food. It's important for us, as food enthusiasts, to appreciate and learn from these diverse traditions and give credit where credit is due.

In the spirit of culinary exploration, let us celebrate and embrace the diversity that enriches our palates. Cowboy Caviar is a testament to the power of fusion cuisine, where different culinary influences come together to create something new and exciting. By acknowledging its roots and origins, we hope to showcase our respect for South American cuisine and inspire everyone to explore and learn more about the rich food culture it has to offer.

Download full recipe.