Summer's finally here, meaning it's the perfect time to sit at the pool with some chips and dip.
Conveniently, it looks like TikTok has graced us with a dip that seems perfectly suited for the summer — Cowboy Caviar.
It's basically like a salsa. A typical Cowboy Caviar recipe includes beans, corn, bell pepper, and onion.
After Bria posted her recipe, hundreds of other users started to share their own recreations, thus forming the current Cowboy Caviar trend on TikTok. And although the dip is super popular now, it has actually been around since the 1940s.
This Thrillist article from 2021 reveals that Cowboy Caviar was created by chef Helen Corbitt, who was the head chef of Neiman Marcus's restaurant Zodiac Room in Dallas, Texas. Oh, and it looks like the dip was originally called "Texas Caviar."
Chef Corbitt's original recipe was reportedly, "black-eyed peas, onions, and garlic pickled in oil and vinegar and served cold," but the dish has since evolved into one that welcomes ingredients of your own choosing, hence Bria's delicious-looking creation. I was definitely so curious about it, so I decided to try it for myself:
Because Bria seemed like the Cowboy Caviar expert, I wanted to follow the recipe — written out at the end of her video — to a tee. For the fresh stuff, she says she used red, yellow, and green bell pepper, red onion, avocado, mango, limes, jalapeño, and feta cheese. After reading the recommendations in the comments section, I decided to pick up some fresh cilantro as well.
For the canned stuff, she used black beans, pinto beans, sliced black olives, corn, and "hot & sweet" jalapeños. She also used spicy honey, olive oil, and white vinegar for the dressing.
After buying what felt like the entire produce section of Trader Joe's, I decided to start chopping my veggies. Noting how much of each vegetable Bria added to the dip, I finely diced 3/4 of a red onion.
After making sure the onion was cut into small, digestible pieces, I added it to the largest bowl I could find in my home.
After the red onion, I chopped the red, yellow, and green bell peppers and added it to the mix.
Following the bell peppers, I drained the cans of corn and sliced olives, and poured those in the bowl as well.
I cored and sliced the entire fresh mango, making little cross-hatch cuts and eventually scooping it out with a spoon.
After adding the mango, I also poured the entire 6 oz. tub of feta cheese into the bowl. I then chopped a generous handful of cilantro to add to the mix.
After the cilantro, I poured out about a third of the 12 oz. jar of hot & sweet jalapeños (so roughly 4 oz.?) and cut them up.
At this point, the bowl I had used could not hold all of the ingredients, but I decided that the show must go on, and so I added the cans of black and pinto beans — drained, of course.
The last ingredient before the dressing was half an avocado, so I made little cross hatches and scooped the fruit into the bowl.
For the dressing, I squeezed the juice out of three limes.
I then added 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, four tablespoons of spicy honey, salt, and pepper, and then gave it all a good mix. After the dressing was done, I poured it all over the ingredients in the bowl.
The last thing to do was mix everything together, but since my bowl was so small, I decided the best way to do this was to scoop out ingredients from the first bowl, into another bowl.
I got a spoon and started scooping out ingredients from different areas of the bowl, and this process naturally mixed everything together. I ended up with two perfectly incorporated bowls of Cowboy Caviar.
So, I'm not gonna lie. It probably took me around 40 minutes to chop all the vegetables, which I'll blame my cheap knife for. But at this point, I was just SO excited to try the dip.
I got out some of my favorite chips and dove right in.
I can honestly say that I LOVED this. I don't really know what I was expecting, but there's a really nice combination of flavors going on from the sweetness of the corn and the saltiness of the olives. The red onion added a bit of spiciness, the cilantro was working its magic with its fresh, herb-y taste, and the jalapeños were indeed, hot & sweet — all I can say is, this is a dip that is packed with flavor! I definitely couldn't stop eating it for the rest of the day.
I would 100% recommend that everyone try this at least once, just because it's so good and relatively easy to make. I will warn that this recipe does make a TON of Cowboy Caviar, which is great if you're looking for something to bring to a party, but if you're cooking for one, I would definitely cut the ingredients in half.
PS: While Cowboy Caviar can totally just be eaten with chips, I also found that this makes a great filling in breakfast burritos/tacos if you just fry up an egg and warm up some tortillas.