pink-eyed pea salad with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes & basil

main dishes

Moving from the Midwest  to the South was the most eye-opening experience regarding food! Southerners, have a discriminating palate, and the South is ripe with flavors that differ from the Midwest.

To be honest, we have never seen more peas than we have in our hometown in Alabama – lady peas, zipper peas, purple hull peas! They are bountiful and EVERYWHERE in the South, and you can find them fresh in the grocery store and on the menu at many restaurants

We had our first taste of the ubiquitous black-eyed pea on New Year’s Day shortly after we moved to Alabama. We learned that eating peas on New Year’s Day was a Southern tradition to guarantee a year’s worth of good luck, and our sweet neighbor had us over to celebrate on our first New Year’s Day in Alabama. They plopped a puddle of black-eyed peas on our plates, and… we were smitten. However, while we still enjoy black-eyed peas, pink-eyed peas are what we love the most.

We had our first pink-eye peas from Murphrees Market in my hometown in Alabama. Yes, we know what you are thinking. Pink-eyed peas?? But, we promise -there is a such a thing! Available only for a short period in the summer, pink-eyed peas are a mellow, firm pea that is ideal for refreshing salads that are satisfying on a hot summer day. Pair these peas with some fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, and fresh basil, you not only have a salad, you have meal! Enjoy!


pink-eyed pea salad with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil

  • Author: Salt and Share
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour & 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Category: Salads
  • Cuisine: Southern


For the salad:
  • 3 cups fresh pink-eyed peas
  • 1 8 oz container of fresh mozzarella ciliegine, sliced
  • 2 cups roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup cucumber, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup basil, chopped
For the dressing:
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Place peas in pot, cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 45 minutes.
  3. Drain and cool.
  4. While the peas are cooking, chop tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and basil. Combine with cooled peas. Add the fresh mozzarella.
  5. Place olive oil, vinegar, garlic and salt in jar with lid.
  6. Place lid on jar and shake vigorously to emulsify the dressing. Pour over salad. Stir gently to combine.

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with love,
Salt & Share

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