Chipotle Agave Vinaigrette

I wanted to make Black-eyed Pea Salad again this weekend and when I went shopping, it seemed like half the city was crammed into the produce section of one store. I had about twice the normal quantites of vegetables on my list, too. Either everyone was tired of rich holiday food like I am, or they’ve made New Year’s resolutions to eat more vegetables in 2011. If it’s the latter, I hope they stick with it. Maybe they’ll find their way to a few food blogs like this one and become inspired.I worked my way through the throng and was on my way to the beer and wine at last, whew! Then I realized I had forgotten to get a jalapeño. No way was I going back in that vegetable mayhem. I decided that I could probably figure something else to spice up the peas when I got home.

I nearly always have a jar of Chipotles in Adobo sauce in my refrigerator. When I buy a 7-ounce can, I run entire contents through the blender and store it in a small jar that once held marinated artichokes. I found the chipotles in my fridge and concocted this dressing. This would also be delicious on a green salad or a salad of greens, vegetables, black beans and corn. I added this variation to the black-eyed pea salad, too.

Chipotle Agave Vinaigrette
Purée a can of chipotles in adobo in a blender and transfer to a small jar. This will keep for over a year when stored in the refrigerator.When ready to make the dressing, whisk together 1 tablespoon of the chipotle pepper purée with with:

1/4 cup lime juice, from 2 or 3 limes
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1 large garlic clove, mincedMakes 3/4 cup

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