And even though I was not actually born on southern soil, most of the time I feel 100 % southern and that is a great feeling.
That is, until I try to bread and fry my own okra, and then I become painfully aware that I was born in a large metropolitan hospital out West.
Breading and frying my own okra usually results in one, big, breaded blob of gunk instead of individual bites. And it's kinda funny because I have no problem breading and frying other things. Fried okra is the thorn in my side and one of the few things that is preventing me from making application to the Secret Society of Truly Southern Women.
So I've made peace with the bags of frozen breaded okra. I've had to. Those I can do well.
And the other day I was in the beauty shop and I picked up an older issue of Taste of the South magazine, and I thumbed through it while I sat at the dryer, just like a scene from Steel Magnolias, except no one was in there named Ouiser. Or Truvy. That I know of. But anyway, there was a succotash salad recipe in there with fried okra that really caught my eye, but since I'm all polite and mannerly, I did not rip it out of the magazine. I did come home and search for the recipe on their site, but it wasn't there. So, through the miracle of modern social networking, I left a comment on their Facebook page and an editor responded promptly and hooked me up with the recipe. (Now that is service! And maybe Santa will bring me a subscription to their magazine, because I was dying over their recipes and photography! DYING I SAY!!!)
(And you know when I say that I was dying over something, that doesn't literally mean I was dying, right? Kay. )
I was going to make this for Thanksgiving, but never got around to it, but I made it today and just like I imagined, it was delicious.
Here are my notes:
-I wish I could link up to the original recipe, but they don't have it on their site. The original recipe had pieces of ham, but I substituted bacon. It also had arugula but I had to use spinach because my grocery store was lacking. Both worked out nicely.
-I used rice vinegar, not rice wine vinegar like the original recipe calls for, but I'm thinking they are the same? Too lazy to Google right now.
-I would love to make this with fresh roasted corn cut off the cob.
-Also, I loved the vinaigrette, but I am wondering about adding a little sugar or honey to it next time? Maybe.
-I LOVE that this has fried okra in it. It's like the okra acts like croutons. I think this is brilliant.
-I have some Christmas goodies coming soon. So you better eat some veggies while you can and build up your system. You're fixin' to be hit with sugar overload on this blog.
Succotash Salad with Fried Okra
Adapted from Taste of the South
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
5 ounces spinach leaves
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 (16-ounce) package frozen lima beans, cooked and drained
1 (11-ounce) can white shoepeg corn, drained
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
4 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (16-ounce) bag breaded okra, fried to crispy, then well drained
In a jar with a tight fitting lid, add the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Shake vigorously.
Add the spinach, tomatoes, lima beans, corn, and red onion to a large salad bowl. Drizzle with the dressing, then toss to evenly coat. Toss in okra and bacon.