To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, sugar, white wine vinegar, chili powder, and salt to taste (I like 1 teaspoon).
In a large bowl, add tomatoes, black-eyed peas, black beans, corn, red onion, bell peppers, and cilantro. Drizzle with the dressing and stir to combine. Cover and chill until serving time.
Sugar: The recipe reflects how we make it in my family. But YES, it has a lot of sugar. Please feel free to reduce it or omit it entirely. If you want to reduce it, mix the dressing with just a tablespoon of sugar to start, taste it, and go from there.
White wine vinegar: Or substitute apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, or even lime juice. It changes the flavor, but not in a bad way.
Extra sweet "shoepeg" corn: Regular canned sweet corn or frozen corn may be substituted for the extra sweet corn. The closest measurement for either option is 3/4 cup, but feel free to use the whole 15-ounce can of corn.
Yield: This recipe makes about 12 cups of Cowboy Caviar (more or less depending on the size of your bell peppers).
Storage: This recipe keeps about 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Make ahead: You can make the dressing up to 3 days in advance. You can assemble the full recipe a day in advance too, but the bell peppers might soften a bit in the dressing.