Southern Living magazine again paid homage to Southerners’ devotion to okra and gave us one more okra idea that, to me, was a “must-try”. Nutty Okra intrigued because it involves adding 1/2 cup finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts. Never thought about this combination, but the magazine’s recipe punned that it was “anything but medi-okra!” What a hoot! It also recommends tossing the cut okra with salt (I used salt substitute) and letting it stand for 20 minutes. I didn’t have the prescribed peanut oil on hand and cooked the okra in canola oil; this didn’t seem to hurt the flavor, but I imagine using peanut oil for frying would make this taste even better.
The small bits of peanut pressed into the breading mixture represented a terrific, crunchy addition—yet another way to creatively present the summer’s luxuriant and thankfully drought-resistant okra, which never lets an abundance of heat stand in its way.
1 pound fresh okra, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 egg white, lightly beaten (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
1 cup all-purpose baking mix
1/2 cup finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Toss okra with salt and let stand 20 minutes. Add egg white; stir to coat. In a large bowl stir together baking mix and next two ingredients. Add okra and toss to coat; gently press peanut mixture onto okra. Shake off excess. In a Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet pour oil to a depth of 2 inches. Heat to 375 degrees. Fry okra in batches 2 to 4 minutes or until golden; drain on paper towels. Makes 4 servings.