Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad

If you’re looking for a tasty summer side dish, then look no further!  This Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad is packed with flavor!

This blog post has been sponsored by the Vidalia Onion Committee. Links featured within, not inclusive of the official Vidalia Onion Committee website or previously sponsored content, are not sanctioned by the Vidalia Onion Committee.

If you're looking for a tasty summer side dish, then look no further!  This Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad is packed with flavor!Some number of years ago (more than I care to admit), I found myself driving through southern Georgia in one of the worst thunderstorms I’ve ever seen.  I was heading to a work retreat down on the coast, and I hit a spring storm.  This wasn’t just any storm.  This was a true gully-washer of a storm.  It was the kind of rain where you couldn’t see more than 20 feet in front of you.  I actually pulled over to let the worst of the storm pass.

If you're looking for a tasty summer side dish, then look no further!  This Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad is packed with flavor!As the storm passed and I got back on the road, I passed a sign that said “Welcome to Vidalia – the Sweet Onion City.”  Up until that point, I didn’t realize that Vidalia was an actual city.  Sure, I knew of Vidalia onions, but I didn’t realize their namesake is a city in Georgia.  And as I drove through town, the biggest rainbow I’ve ever seen stretched across the sky above me.  It was a pretty awesome experience!

Rainbows are one of those sweet moments in life.  Think about it.  Whenever you see a rainbow, you probably stop and look, right?  I know I do!  In fact, I remember “chasing” a rainbow through town last summer with my 4-year-old son in the backseat.  The rainbow kept peeking out from behind clouds, and we kept driving to different parking lots looking for it.  He still talks about our “rainbow hunt,” and I suspect those fond memories will stick with me for many years.

If you're looking for a tasty summer side dish, then look no further!  This Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad is packed with flavor!Vidalia Onions and the Kentucky Derby

Switching gears a bit, let’s move from Vidalia, Georgia to actual Vidalia onions.  These sweet treats are truly a seasonal crop.  They first hit stores in April, and the season typically runs through August or September.  I know I always get excited when the first Vidalia onions start showing up in our grocery stores!

Not all sweet onions are Vidalia onions.  In fact, Vidalia onions can only be grown in the weather, water and soil conditions that are uniquely found in 20 south Georgia counties.  This region has an unusually low amount of sulfur in the soil, and this contributes to the sweet flavor of Vidalia onions.  As Vidalia onions hit the store shelves near you, definitely pick up a couple.

If you're looking for a tasty summer side dish, then look no further!  This Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad is packed with flavor!Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad

This year, the Vidalia Onion Committee has partnered with the Kentucky Derby to highlight several fun recipes featuring Vidalia onions.  Among those recipes is this Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad.  This recipe is unique and delicious!

For starters, the vinaigrette features sorghum syrup.  Sorghum is often seen in its grain form, but we’re talking about sorghum syrup here.  Sorghum syrup – often called sorghum molasses – is very common in the Southern states.  This thick, golden syrup is used to sweeten recipes.  It’s similar to molasses and honey, but with more depth of flavor.  I recommend trying it if you’ve never had the chance!

If you're looking for a tasty summer side dish, then look no further!  This Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad is packed with flavor!In addition to the sorghum, the vinaigrette also features a bit of grated Vidalia onion.  Oh, and then there’s bourbon, too!  All of these ingredients combine to create a rather tasty (and easy to make) vinaigrette.  We enjoyed the vinaigrette over this Black Eyed Pea Salad, but we also used the leftovers on a leafy green salad.  It was a fun way to mix things up a bit, and I suspect we’ll be making this vinaigrette regularly now.  (It’s great for when you’re entertaining and want to serve something slightly different and unique!)

Growing up in the South, black-eyed peas were a staple at our dinner table.  However, this Black Eyed Pea Salad takes those peas to a whole new level.  This salad has so many layers of flavor thanks to the vinaigrette as well as the grilled veggies.  It is quite tasty, and it makes for a great side dish for all sorts of summer meals.

If you're looking for a tasty summer side dish, then look no further!  This Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad is packed with flavor!Are you planning on watching the Kentucky Derby this year?  As the Run for the Roses usually occurs in early May, it means the weather here in upstate New York is finally starting to warm up.  And when the weather warms up?  My grill comes out!  This year, I’ll be putting more zucchini and squash on the grill for another round of this Black Eyed Pea Salad.  Oh, and make sure to stop by the Kentucky Derby website for more tasty recipes as well as tips on hosting at-home Derby parties.  Cheers!

Did you make this Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!

If you're looking for a tasty summer side dish, then look no further!  This Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad is packed with flavor!

Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad

If you're looking for a tasty summer side dish, then look no further!  This Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad is packed with flavor!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 328kcal

Ingredients

For the Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup sorghum room temperature
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp grated sweet Vidalia onion
  • ¼ cup bourbon

For the Black Eyed Pea Salad

  • 1 15.5-oz. can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • cup roasted red peppers
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1 zucchini sliced and grilled
  • 1 yellow squash sliced and grilled
  • ½ red onion sliced and grilled
  • ¼ cup minced flat leaf parsley

Instructions

For the Vinaigrette

  • Using a blender, combine all of the ingredients. Blend on low speed until well mixed.
  • Refrigerate leftover dressing in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

For the Black Eyed Pea Salad

  • Using a large serving bowl, combine all of the ingredients; toss until well combined.
  • Add ⅓ cup of vinaigrette; toss until well coated.
  • Serve using a slotted spoon.

Notes

The vinaigrette recipe will produce 2 total cups.  ⅓ of a cup will be used for the black eyed pea salad.  The remaining vinaigrette can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.  (It's delicious on a leafy green salad, too!)
Recipe courtesy of the Vidalia Onion Committee.

If you're looking for a tasty summer side dish, then look no further!  This Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette with Black Eyed Pea Salad is packed with flavor!

Looking for more summer side dish recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too:

Packed with fresh veggies and perfectly toasted bread cubes, Panzanella is a classic side dish that's great for summer entertaining!Panzanella

Peperonata is a classic Italian recipe using slow-cooked bell peppers, tomatoes and onions.  Eat it on crusty bread or mixed into pasta!Peperonata

Caponata is a tasty and colorful summer recipe.  Serve it as an appetizer with toasted bread or as a side dish alongside grilled fish or chicken!Caponata

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32 Comments

  1. Will be making this soon i never had salad before perfect for my after office meals didnt know you posted recipe today when i go to my twitter i saw you posted the tweet on my twitter will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya

    1. Hey Ramya! You are indeed correct – I normally do not post new recipes on the weekends. It’s a special week! I do hope you make this recipe soon – it’s quite tasty, and it’s perfect for summer grilling season! 🙂

  2. What a wonderful combination! I love when people take dressings and vinaigrettes as seriously as their salad counterparts. Love everything about this salad and vinaigrette.

    1. This vinaigrette paired with the salad is absolutely delicious, Mimi! The grilled flavor comes through which makes this one great for summer picnics!

  3. interesting things here david. we don’t have vidalia onions (they look like a cross between a white onion and a brown onion to me) and i’ve never heard of sorghum syrup. and black eyed peas are not a big thing here either. phew! but anyway i bet this is a tasty salad!

    1. Haha – there are quite a few very traditional Southern US ingredients in this recipe, Sherry. I don’t think you could quite recreate this one down there…just put it on your list if you ever make a trek to the States! 🙂

  4. I do like Vidalia onions. That sweetness is really nice when you want to use your onions raw in salads like this one. Also nice when cooked—they lend a pleasant sweetness to tomato sauces, I find. And come to find out that they’re a product with a real “terroir”, which makes them extra-special in my book. I had no idea Vidalia was a place, either, until I read your post!

    1. I hear ya on Vidalia onions, Frank – they’re worth seeking out when they are in season! I’m also pretty sure Vidalia onions make the best onion rings / onion petals – the sweetness is perfect for those types of uses. Either way, I do highly recommend this salad. The grilled flavor comes through in the salad, and that vinaigrette is quite tasty!

  5. 5 stars
    What a cool story! And I love Vidalia onions, they’re so sweet and tasty! This salad looks delicious, especially with that vinaigrette. Admittedly, I’ve never watched the Kentucky Derby, but it sounds like such a fancy event!

    1. Vidalia onions truly are sweet and tasty – I always get excited when they start showing up in the stores around here! Thanks so much, Michelle!

  6. 5 stars
    I’ll be pulling the BBQ out of the garden shed this month David. Finally! And this salad looks like the perfect accompaniment to go with some nice juicy steaks!

    1. Ah yes! The grill is coming out! This salad deserves a spot on your list, Neil – it would indeed be great next to a grilled steak.

  7. 5 stars
    We always have onions on hand, as well as all kinds of beans so this salad needs to happen soon! This is the kinda thing I love to have prepped for easy weekday lunches. Looks super hearty, fresh and flavourful. I know both hubby and I would devour the whole lot of it. Have a great week!

    1. You make a great point about weekday lunches, Dawn – we ate leftovers of this salad for lunches for a couple days, and they were delicious! I highly recommend this one…it’s a great summer recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    Well David I hope your horse won. When we lived in Kentucky we never made it to the Derby, but always had a grand derby bash and this salad would have been perfect for the event.
    If we could get sweet onions I’d be making this one…

    1. Ah, we ended up meeting friends during the Derby time, and the Derby wasn’t on tv. I caught the replay, but the chance to socialize with friends after nearly 16+ months was just too much temptation. 🙂 And, yes, I suspected that Vidalia onions are one of those things that you just can’t get over there. I’ll send you some!

  9. 5 stars
    We love black eyed peas and the flavors and textures in this salad look and sound so good, David. Definitely needs to be on our summer salad menu!

    That sounds like quite a storm you hit on your drive years ago. Those big rainbows after a storm always feel like a gift, don’t they?

    1. This salad is packed with textures and flavor, Marissa! The vinaigrette is delicious, but don’t overlook those grilled veggies. Yum! And I do agree with you about rainbows. We don’t see them all that often up here – our storms up here often come in the winter, and that just means lots (and lots and lots) of snow. Haha!

  10. We have a different variety of sweet onions here, the Walla Walla Onion. A reasonable substitute for sure! And, although I’ve lived in the South (for a short time) and travelled many times, I can’t believe I’ve never tried sorghum. Crazy! But I loved how you used it in the dressing! This salad looks and sound totally classic! Love this idea!

    1. Interesting – I’m not familiar with Walla Walla onions. I do know Vidalia from living in Georgia, and they show up in our stores this time of the year here. The Vidalia onions + sorghum in this vinaigrette make for a great combination. This black eyed pea salad has earned a spot on our summer staple list for sure!

  11. I love Vidalia onions, but I think they’re pretty rare in our area. We should exchange: send me a bag of onions, and I’ll ship you a few pounds of lavender haha.
    Anyway, this dressing sounds delightful! And I love the combination of black-eyed peas with vegetables in this salad – it’s filling and hearty yet light and fresh!

    1. I can imagine that Vidalia onions would be a bit rarer up there in Canada – I’ll send you a couple! (Don’t worry about the few pounds of lavender…I’m sure you can find a good use for it. Haha.) This recipe really is quite tasty. It’s perfect for warm summer days!

    1. You can say that again, Raymund! We really enjoyed this salad – it’s perfect for summer with the grilled veggies in it.

  12. Goodness gracious! This is my kinda dressing – please hold the salad and just pass me the boozy dressing! I kid I kid!

    Seriously, there’s so much deliciousness going on here – that vinaigrette sounds so amazing in this colorful salad!

    1. Haha – that dressing really is quite delicious, Shashi! But put it on the black-eyed pea salad? Now you’re talking! The grilled flavor of those veggies really shines through. 🙂

  13. This is totally my kind of salad…grilled veggies and black eyed peas, so good! And, I am so taken in by the vinaigrette. I guess I have to give a shot to sorghum molasses on my next visit to US (whenever that happens).

    1. Yeah, sorghum molasses is a bit hard to find…even here in the US. (You need to be in the Southern states.) Fortunately, we can find it on Amazon pretty easily! In a pinch, I’m sure you could use regular molasses if that is available in your area. Either way, the grilled flavor of this salad really comes through. It’s a great summer side! Thanks, Taruna!

  14. 5 stars
    Many moons ago we lived in Jacksonville, FL. They often sold Vidalias on the side of the road. I wondered why someone would sell onions, and only onions, on the side of the road. It wasn’t until we moved back to Colorado that I discovered Vidalias. Now they are the only onion I will buy when in season. Sorghum syrup? I wish! Really going to have to see if they have this on Amazon!

    1. Wow! Vidalias on the side of the road? That’s amazing. It reminds me of growing up in South Carolina where we could find peaches at roadside gas stations. A guy with a pickup truck selling peaches out of the back…and they were amazing! I’m with ya on Vidalias when they are in season. And that sorghum? You’re in luck – Amazon has it!!

    1. Yup, there is indeed a town in southern Georgia named Vidalia! (Put that one on your foodie travels bucket list!) And this grilled salad is fantastic, Nicole – it’s earned a spot on our list of favorite summer side dishes.

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