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Meatless Monday: Mustard greens salad, with black-eyed peas

April 11, 2011

Published in The Christian Science Monitor

I’m very fortunate: My boyfriend is a gallant, generous cook. Apple pies with pecan crumble topping, warm Turkish lentils, and fresh mozzarella topped focaccia are only a small sampling of the delectable dishes he has made for me in our two years together.

It was one of his recipes that put a halt to a sluggish culinary week. There was Chinese take-out, cheesy noodles, and one night where I consumed potato chips, cream cheese smeared crackers, and (homemade, at least) French fries for dinner. At the end of it, I was in desperate need of a wholesome salad: a hefty, inspiring salad that wouldn’t call for a starchy side.

This salad is the one that saved me. The black-eyed peas, peanuts, and hard-boiled eggs are protein-rich and filling. The mustard greens and garlicky peanut vinaigrette add a kick of flavor, as do the sweet carrots and salty feta cheese.

Mustard greens salad, with black-eyed peas
Serves 4

4 cups mustard greens, torn, stems removed
2 cup black-eyed peas, rinsed
4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced in half length-wise
2 cup carrots, shaved
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup peanuts, shelled
Pepper, to taste

Peanut vinaigrette

1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts

Prepare vinaigrette first: Finely chop peanuts with a food processor and set aside. Whisk olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and then add garlic and chopped peanuts. If time permits, allow dressing to sit at room temperature for at least an hour so that flavors meld.

Toss mustard greens, black-eyed peas, and carrots together in a large serving bowl. Top with feta cheese, peanuts, eggs, and pepper. Serve with vinaigrette on the side.

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