Corn and Tomato Salad With Fried Okra Croutons

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Total Time
25mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 10 mins

THIS IS SOOOO GOOD! Everyone who likes tomatoes, corn, or fried okra needs to try this. And especially if its in season! Food and Wine's BEST of the BEST From The Rustic Table by Constance Snow "Southerners are known for their ability to turn a blind eye to the unpleasantries of life, so if something seems to ugly and slimy to eat, we jsut ignore the baster aspects, cover it with cornmeal, and throw it into a sizzling iron skillet. Thus okra, on of nature's most imperfect foods, is transformed into ethereal little crisps that even a Yankee could love. Good old "fried okry" is great on its own (as a traditional side dish or offbeat cocktail snack), but it also adds an extra layer of texture and flavor to the simplest garden salads. Here fresh sweet corn and vine riepened tomatoes are essential, so save this one for a cool meal in midsummer when vegetables are at their best." You can also use pre-packaged okra as well.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Place the corn kernels in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on high power for 1 minute: stir, and microwave just until crisp-tender, up to 1 minute longer. Toss the corn in a mixing bowl with the tomatoes, scallions, and parsley.
  2. Whisk the sugar and 1/4 tsp salt with the vinegar in a small bowl until dissolved. Then whisk in the olive oil and thyme leaves until the dressing is thick and well blended. Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing to coat it well. Season with pepper, and additional salt if needed. Set the salad aside to allow the flavors to mellow while you fry the okra.
  3. Combine the cornmeal, salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl, and toss the okra slices in the mixture. Warm 1/3 inch of oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat.
  4. Drop a cornmeal-coated okra slice into the hot oil to test the temperature. When it sizzles energetically, add half of the remaining okra, without crowding. Fry until ver crisp and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spatula and place them on paper towels to drain. Repeat with the second batch.
  5. Just before serving, taste the salad and adjust the seasonings if needed. Top each dish of salad with a generous mound of fried okra.