Roasted Okra and White Bean Salad (serves 4)
My Dad is what you might call a fearless cook. He never met a recipe he couldn’t modify, and when he is lacking an ingredient, well, you just find something that looks interesting and make the substitution. Cocoa powder in Brussels sprouts? Why not? Between his flair for innovation, and my Mother’s fabulously innate skills at Southern cooking, (she was the Queen of Succotash) the five of us grew up with very few food phobias. Today, we all cook with abandon, and because we know that the worst thing that can happen is you make something you don’t like, we never hesitate to experiment.
The first of this year’s tender new okra was in the market today! And the weather is finally warm enough for dinner in the gazebo. So tonight I am experimenting with an Okra and Bean Salad. We’ll be roasting the okra first, then marinating it with the beans in a vinaigrette and adding juicy grape tomatoes just before serving alongside tagliatelle in a vegan alfredo sauce (Victoria Vegan Pesto Arugula) found at Whole Foods. And of course, a bottle of vino. ~ Glyn
Roasted Okra and White Bean Salad
½ lb. small, tender okra pods
1 small red mild chili pepper
2 small sweet yellow peppers
1 small onion
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 c. cooked, drained white beans
½ c halved grape tomatoes
¼ c olive oil
1 clove garlic, mashed
2 tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
¼ tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. dried rosemary
¼ tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and shake well to blend.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Slice the okra ½” thick. Toss in a bowl with the olive oil. Thinly slice the peppers and onion and toss with the okra. Spread in one layer on a sheet of foil on a baking sheet. Season with salt, crushed red pepper and garlic powder (if desired). Roast for 12-15 minutes or until the onions are caramelized and the okra starts to crisp and just starts to char. Watch carefully! Remove from the oven and let cool until warm.
Combine with the beans and the tomatoes and add the dressing. Let sit lightly covered for up to two hours at room temperature. Or if desired, wait just until serving to add the tomatoes.