Cornmeal-Crusted Oyster and Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Jalapeno Dressing
This recipe for cornmeal-crusted oyster and black-eyed pea salad with jalapeno dressing is courtesy of chef Susan Spicer and can be found in her cookbook, "Crescent City Cooking."
- 1 cup dried black-eyed peas or 1 (14-ounce) can black-eyed peas
- 1/2 onion stuck with 2 cloves (for dried peas only)
- 1 dried bay leaf (for dried peas only)
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
- 4 scallions, finely sliced
- Jalapeno Dressing
- 1 small celery root, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of coarse salt
- Canola or peanut oil, for frying
- 1 pint (about 24) shucked oysters
- 1 cup Cornmeal Coating
- 10 ounces fresh spinach, cleaned and thinly sliced
If using dried peas, place them in a medium bowl and cover with water; let soak overnight. Drain peas, rinse, and transfer to a small saucepan with about 3 cups water, the onion, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, immediately reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until peas are tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse. If using canned peas, drain and rinse.
Add peas to a small bowl, along with bell pepper and scallions, and mix together with 1/2 cup jalapeno dressing; let stand at least 5 minutes or up to 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 4 hours refrigerated.
Place celery root, lemon juice, salt, and enough water just to cover in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, drain, and set aside to cool.
Fill a medium saucepan or deep skillet 2 inches high with oil. Heat oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Transfer oysters to a colander and rinse, checking for shells; pat dry. Dredge oysters in cornmeal coating and transfer to a plate. When oil is hot, add oysters to oil, working in batches, and fry until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer oysters to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining oysters.
To serve, toss celery root and spinach together in a medium bowl; divide evenly among 4 plates; spoon black-eyes peas around salad and top with fried oysters. Drizzle with any remaining jalapeno dressing; serve immediately.