Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vegan Fried Okra and Succotash

I'm already beginning to mourn the end of summer. Today was the first day I felt a little foretelling of Autumn in the air. While the fall is very dear to me, I'll miss the juicy red tomatoes of summer and the farmer's markets. My father in law has a little plot in a community garden.  He brought over some fresh cherry tomatoes and okra. Sometimes my dinners are just like this. Nothing fancy, just a bunch of color all thrown on a plate, but nothing makes me happier. 

One recipe I'm completely obsessed with (might not be a strong enough word) is Alicia Silverstone's Summertime Succotash from her book The Kind Diet. I probably make it at least once a week in some form or another. I didn't grow up on Lima beans, but she has completely sold me on them. I've made this recipe with all fresh ingredients (including once fresh lima beans I scored from my favorite vendor), but sometimes I totally cheat if I don't have fresh on hand. I finally took back my copy of the book to the library and ordered it myself. It's worth it I think. Here's a total cheater version of the recipe, but trying it just as she wrote it is definitely worth a go if you have the book. I love it with all fresh ingredients, but saving time is a great bonus every once in a while.

Cheater Summertime Succotash
1 - 2 T. Earth Balance
1 Can of Organic Butter Beans (the original calls for frozen lima beans)
1 Can of Organic Sweet Corn 
1/2 Red Onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
A cup or two of fresh Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in 2
1 T. Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Parsley or Basil

Heat butter in large heavy duty pot. Sauté onions for around 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute. Add butter beans and corn. Heat through, and then add tomatoes. You don't want your tomatoes to lose their firmness or juice, so (really) don't keep them in long at all. Then toss in balsamic, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Seriously delicious. I love all the textures involved.

Both of my in-laws are from the south, and are A-mazing cooks. Seriously. My brother in law calls it the best restaurant in town. While they are definitely meat eaters, there are always a million delicious sides. My mother in law says my father in law gets all the credit for the main dish, but her sides are always to die for. Since they brought me over a bunch of okra, I HAD to fry it. Ok, maybe I didn't have to, but is there really any other better way to eat okra? Absolutely not I say! But maybe that's why this last ten pounds is so slow to come off. I veganized his proportions, and they turned out perfectly.

Vegan Fried Okra

2/3 C. All Purpose Flour
1/3 C. Organic Cornmeal
1 t. Kosher Salt
1 t. Paprika
1/2 t. Garlic Powder
Pound or 2 of Fresh Okra
1 C. Unsweetened Soy Milk
Canola Oil

Heat canola in heavy duty pan over medium high heat. Sift together dry ingredients. My father in law says that you have to bread each batch right before dropping them in the pan or it doesn't work the same. Drop a large handful of okra in soy milk. Remove and add to cornmeal mixture. Toss to coat. Drop in the pan, and fry until golden brown. Taste before adding any additional salt. Enjoy :)


LittleHouseofVeggies said...

Are you serious??!!!! this whole meal looks AMAZING!!! I am totally trying that fried okra, and I haven't made the succotash before but you make it looke so pretty and delicious! Thanks for posting!

Vegan Piggy said...

I love that succotash so much. I don't know what it is about it, but her recipe is perfection. I just love the crunchy of the corn, the lima beans, and the sweetness of the balsamic. Just yummy. And you can't go wrong with fried okra :)

claire said...

I love fried okra... I will definitely try that recipe!

Anonymous said...

You should submit your recipes at Finding Vegan.

Chef Dennis said...

I have been thinking of okra lately......thanks for the inspiration!!
Welcome to food buzz!

Reginald@CeramicCanvas said...

As someone raised in

the South, your fried

okra recipe is really

calling my name! It

looks delish.