Growing up, my mom would make the best fried okra, mostly on Sundays. The crispiness of the cornmeal gave the freshly cut okra pods the perfect crunch..and who doesn't love a crunchy bite?! The frying in cornmeal rids of the little bit of slime that comes from these tasty okra pods!
One night at the dinner table when I was little, I actually asked my mom if she stuffed each little piece individually! You can imagine the look she gave me! Family of 6? Stuff each 1/2" piece of okra individually? Ya, right! She still laughs when I remind her of that silly question!
I don't know about you, but I like to have a little fresh with my fried, and this recipe does just that! The corn, squash and tomatoes bring the perfect balance when mixed with the fried okra. This is a great dish during those height-of-the-summer cookouts! Served as a meat free main course or as a satisfying side dish, either way, it's packed with flavor!
Fried Okra with Corn, Tomato and Squash Sauté
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/4 teaspoon (or more) cayenne pepper
- 12 okra pods,, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 6 Tablespoons olive oil,, divided
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels,, (cut from about 3 ears of corn)
- 6 baby green Pattypan squash,, each cut into 6 pieces (if unavailable, you may use 1 zucchini or 1 yellow crookneck squash, or a combination of the two)
- 2 cloves garlic,, chopped
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes,, halved (2 cups)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 green onions,, chopped
- In a small bowl, mix the cornmeal with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne.
- Add the okra and gently toss to coat.
- Shake off the excess cornmeal.
- In a heavy large skillet over medium heat, heat 4 Tablespoons of oil.
- Add the okra and sauté until coating is an even golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.
- Place a few paper towel layers on a plate and using slotted spoon, transfer the okra to drain.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Wipe out skillet. In the same skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil.
- When the oil is warmed through, add the corn, squash, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes. Cover and cook until squash is crisp-tender, but not mushy. About 5 minutes.
- Mix in the “waiting” okra, the cilantro and green onions. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more cayenne…some like it hot!