Week 6: Winter Caviar #52WeeksofVivianH

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Need a dip? We have one for you.

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Some friends of ours invited a big group over to their neighborhood to watch a really fun band outdoors (weather: chilly, but reasonable).  We planned to bring a snack, and wanted something that would align with the myriad of food sensitivities the crowd has (dairy, gluten, nuts, meat, the list continues)…and this one fit the bill. Most importantly, it’s really tasty. As if that weren’t enough, it benefits from some time sitting in the fridge- it ended up being one of those things that when we finished it all three days later, the flavors had come together and produced something that was even better than when it started. We’re talking Winter Caviar (pg 161). DSC_0330.jpg

We decided to do this at 7:30 on a Wednesday night, and if you know anything about our usually-favorite place to buy ingredients, Boone Hall Farms, it closes at 7…which ended up being a bit of an issue. We went to the Harris Teeter, because we didn’t have field peas, and we both knew that the Teeter wouldn’t have field peas, either (spoiler: we were correct). Happily, Chef Vivian let us know that black-eyed peas can fill in, so we used them. We had the rest of the ingredients in the pantry, which was pretty convenient.  It’s largely a passive cooking/active chopping sort of operation and that worked out well for the 8-9 pm time slot on a Wednesday.

 

 

The sweet potatoes roasted, the beans boiled, and the mister did some fancy chopping (he’s really good with the knife, and his results are always far superior to mine).

 

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I mean, check this out!

 

It’s important to really gently fold all of the ingredients together so maintain texture, which we did, and we were glad of the instruction to be careful. I will point out that this is another application for the Cocktail Tomatoes (those things are gold, seriously, make them) and we’re still on the same first batch we made (linked above).  We wondered while making it if it might benefit from more tomatoes, but upon eating it, the tomato amount was pretty spot on. It gave it all the perfect amount of flavor, and it left me with the kind of taste in my mouth that led me to mostly constant snacking all evening. Just when I thought I could safely walk away from the bowl of ‘caviar’, it reeled me back in. At one point, I was holding the bowl between my friend Lauren’s chair and my own, while the bag of chips was leaned up against her leg. It proved to be the perfect place to keep it.

In terms of feedback, we would definitely all pay for this one. I would likely routinely purchase this as an appetizer/nibble for a cheese board. We got some great feedback (we served it with scoop tortilla chips), like these gems:

“This is a triumph.” – Peter

“Well this [bowl] is going to be staying over here!” – Joe

Likely my favorite quote really had nothing to do with the food, while the mister was kneeling on the floor (taking a series of really great photos) he said, “Okay, let’s boat this bass!”. Which we then did, showing off the gentle mixing, culminating in the photo this post began with (it really is that good).DSC_0313.jpg

This is a great one for making ahead of time, which y’all know I love.  That makes entertaining a breeze, and it’s definitely a crowd-pleaser. I’m interested in making it again, this time with the field peas, as is the original intent. I’ll be sure to update y’all.

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