Summer salad: cowboy caviar

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) Make a delicious dish without heating up the kitchen!  Tinky Weisblat, food writer at showed us how.

Cowboy Caviar
Instead of worrying about serving your guests a full meal in the summertime, try inviting them over for appetizers and/or dessert. This simple appetizer looks appealing and can be made before your guests walk in the door, leaving you free to enjoy their company—which is the whole point of entertaining!

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 ounces ripe olives, drained and chopped (or the whole can!)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, pressed or minced
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 pinches of salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
4 to 5 shakes of hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pinch of pepper
1 8-ounce package cream cheese—regular or light–softened
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 scallion, sliced

Cooking Directions:
In a bowl combine all the ingredients except for the cream cheese, eggs, and scallion. Cover the mixture and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. When you are ready to serve your caviar spread the cream cheese over the surface of a circular serving dish. Spread the bean mixture on top of it.
Arrange the egg pieces in a ring around the edge of the plate (the effect is sort of that of a wreath). Sprinkle the chopped scallion overall. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

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