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Texas Caviar

In Texas caviar, black-eyed peas and chile peppers are layered with mustard seeds, fennel seeds, or oregano and cumin, and then pickled. These three variations can be used as side dishes or condiments. Try all three in separate one-pint jars; or use a three-pint jar and make just one, tripling the spice mixture of your choice.

  • Yield: Makes 3 pints

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 1999


  • 6 cups Traditional Black-Eyed Peas
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 2 small fresh serrano chile peppers or other hot chile peppers
  • 1 small Hungarian wax pepper, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds
  • 2 small dried red-chile peppers
  • 2 teaspoons red-pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
  • 2 1/4 cups white or cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt


  1. In a 1-pint canning jar, using 2 cups traditional black-eyed peas, alternate layers of peas with oregano, cumin seeds, and serrano chiles. In a second jar, layer 2 cups peas with wax peppers and mustard seeds. In a third jar, layer remaining 2 cups peas with chile peppers, red-pepper flakes, and fennel seeds. Set aside.

  2. In a saucepan, combine vinegar and salt. Heat until mixture just comes to a boil. Pour 3/4 cup vinegar mixture over each jar of peas to cover all layers. Seal jars. When mixture cools to room temperature, refrigerate at least a week and up to a month.

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