Fried Okra Salad Recipe
Some people might shy away from the texture of okra. But once fried, okra tastes as good as any other fried food. In today’s recipe I briefly pan-fried okra and mixed it with other seasonal veggies along with diced cranberry-covered Brillat Savarin cheese to counteract the low-carb aspect of the salad. This particular cheese is appropriate because it's sweet and tastes similar to ghee (Indian clarified butter), which is a reminder that okra is a very common ingredient in Indian cuisine.
I tend to choose bright green, small-sized okra because they are more tender. A little drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil go a long way in adding flavor. It's a very easy but tasty salad.
Yields: 6 servings1 pound okra
2 teaspoons cornmeal (or all-purpose flour), optional
½ cup peanut oil (or regular vegetable oil), as needed
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and sliced
¼ cup Brillat Savarin cheese with cranberries, diced
¼ cup fresh garbanzo beans, peeled
1 small roasted red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 dozen button mushrooms
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon wildflower honey (or any other sweetener)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper, freshly cracked
2 cornichons with their pickled mustard seeds, finely diced
1 tablespoon chives, snipped
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
Prepping the okra: Remove the stems of the okra. Wash them, removing as much water as possible. Pat them dry. Drizzle with half of the lemon juice and let sit for about 5. Remove and discard the liquid from the okra. Thinly slice them (about ¼-inch thick), add the jalapeño pepper and sprinkle with cornmeal (if used). Toss well.
How to fry okra: In a heavy bottomed-pan, heat the peanut oil for about 2-3 minutes over high heat. Wait until the oil is slightly bubbly (but not too hot), then add the okra and jalapeño pepper. Lower the heat to medium-high and pan-fry until golden. It will take some time for the okra to be turn crispy; stir occasionally to prevent them from burning. Leaving as much oil as possible in the pan, transfer to a cooling rack, previously lined with paper towels, on top of a baking sheet (for easy clean-up of the drained oil). Sprinkle with salt.
Prepping the mushrooms: Prepare the mushrooms. This step is optional but I usually peel the thin outer "skin" on the "hat" of button mushrooms, using a paring knife. Using the same paring knife, slice them. Drizzle with honey, the remaining lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes.
Assembly time: In a serving bowl, combine the mushrooms, fresh garbanzo beans, red bell pepper, diced pickles, chives and parsley. Toss well. Finish with the fried okra and Brillat Savarin cheese. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Drizzle with more olive oil.
I buy okra at the Indian market. These vegetables are very inexpensive if you buy them at an Indian store. Choose small, bright green okra. For optimum freshness, remove as much moisture as possible by wrapping them in kitchen towels while storing them in the refrigerator. You could also roast the okra instead to remove their "slimy" quality.
I buy Brillat Savarin cheese at a local market. You can replace it with any other cheeses.
For best results when heating the frying oil, the thermometer should register between 345°F and 360°F. Heat the oil over medium to high heat (for a nice golden color).Published By: on August 24, 2011.