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Fried Okra Salad
Chef Emeril Lagasse
Adapted by StarChefs

Just about everyone in Louisiana has a summer garden. And no matter how small or large, it will usually harbor a few bushes of okra. While some of it makes its way into gumbos, there's always extra for pickling and for salads.

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 teaspoons Rustic Rub (below)
  • 16 okra pods, washed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening, for frying
  • 4 cups assorted salad greens
  • 1 recipe Green Onion Dressing(below)
Rustic Rub:

Yield: 2 cups
  • 8 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons cayenne
  • 5 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 6 tablespoons salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons dried organo
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Blend well. Can be stored in an airtight container in your spice cabinet for up to 3 months.

Green Onion Dressing:
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions, green parts only
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk for 2 to 3 minutes to blend. Or put the ingredients in a jar fitted with a lid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. The dressing will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

Beat together the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of the rub and stir to blend. In another bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, and 1 teaspoon of the rub Dredge the okra in the flour mixture and heat the shortening in a skillet. When it is hot, place the okra, split side down, in the oil amd fry, turning once, for about 2 minutes, or until lightly golden. Drain on paper towels. sprinkle the okra with the remaining 1 teaspoon of rub. Divide the greens into 4 equal portions. Top each with okra and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.

From LOUISIANA REAL & RUSTIC by Emeril Lagasse
Copyright 1996 By Emeril Lagasse
Permission by William Morrow & Company, Inc.
New York