Smells Like Summer
Summer is here! That means vibrant, colorful, flavorful produce is readily available! One of my favorite summertime dishes includes fresh okra. Not the slimy, mushy kind that's stewed with tomatoes (ew), or the deep fried kind (nothing wrong with that), but hot, crisp, flavorful okra in all it's glory.
Say what you want about it, but I think it's a terribly underrated vegetable, and offers some good health benefits that you may not have been aware of. In addition to providing essential fiber and digestive benefits, it also helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Here's a recipe that highlights all of the good qualities okra has to offer, an updated version of one of my childhood deep-fried favorites. I hope you enjoy it!
- 1 lb fresh okra, cut into 1/2" pieces, stems trimmed
- 1 small Noonday onion*, diced small
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp creole seasoning, such as Tony Cacheres (more for extra heat)
- 1/4 cup corn meal (substitute almond flour to make grain free)
- 1 Tbs coconut or avocado oil**
Preheat non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with coconut or avocado oil. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients and stir, beating eggs thoroughly. Place in preheated pan with oil and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally until the okra and onions are tender, and eggs are cooked through but not dry. The corn meal will start to brown, so be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a non-metal spoon/spatula to prevent burning. Divide among plates and serve hot. Optional: top with additional creole seasoning or hot sauce (yay!) for a little extra sass.
* Noonday onions can be found a farmer's markets throughout the East Texas area in the late spring, early summer, but are more likely found within a 10-20 mile radius of Noonday, Texas (the Tyler area). 10-15 or Vidalia onions can be substituted if you can't find noonday onions. More on Noonday onions and what you're missing if you've never tried them in my next post.
**Avocado oil is great for frying and sauteeing, with a high smoke point of 450-500 degrees fahrenheit. It contains essential fatty acids from avocados and provides a mild flavor.