Crispy Okra Salad Is The Cozy Side Dish To Try This Fall

If you're looking for a fall dish that's both filling and cozy, then you shouldn't underestimate the humble okra. While squash and pumpkin get all the attention when it comes to fall harvests, okra is packed full of flavor especially when used in a gumbo or salad. The latter, in particular, can be easy to fix on those cool days when you want to snuggle up by the heater or fire. It makes for a perfect main dish or appetizer and can be prepared in larger quantities for bigger families or gatherings. 

In particular, crispy okra salad stands out from the various variants of okra salads. The okra is fried beforehand, which gives it a nice crunchy texture. When combined with other fresh vegetables, you get a great contrast of both flavors and textures. If you're feeling bold, you can also coat the okra in breading before cooking. This will give it an extra crispiness and flavor that batterless okra may lack. Although it shares the plate with others, the crispy vegetable is the star of the show in this protein-less salad. However you prepare your okra, you should consider incorporating the following ingredients.

Ingredients needed for okra salad

When it comes to salads, generally it's up to you on what you want to include or leave out. However, there are certain ingredients that are vital to a traditional take on the crispy okra salad. In particular, you want to consider including both tomato and onions, which generally feature in an okra salad of any sort. Okra and tomatoes are a duo that just seem to go together, like peanut butter and jelly. The two vegetables are typically served as a stew in Southern states. 

For the salad, the okra will be cooked, and the tomatoes will be served raw — sliced and diced up. This will give the salad a different taste than when the two ingredients are stewed together. Still, the sweetness of the tomatoes pairs well with the earthiness of the okra. Likewise, onions provide a bit of spice and zestiness that will bring your salad together. The exact kind of onions and tomatoes you want to include is up to your personal preference. You could also consider throwing in any additional fall vegetables you have to put your own spin on the salad. Just keep in mind that the texture is a big part of the salad.

Tips to make the perfect salad

One of the pitfalls of cooking with okras is the texture, which is a big part of the crispy okra salad. There's nothing worse than biting into salad expecting a crunch, only to find a soggy piece of okra. If you want to avoid a slimy texture with your okra, then you might want to consider giving your veggie a vinegar bath before frying. The acidity of the vinegar will reduce the sliminess of the okra. Alternatively, you can also add lemon juice or another citrus to your vegetable before cooking. 

When it comes to the crispy okra salad, it may be best to cook your okra when you're ready to serve as fried food can get soggy in the fridge. However, life doesn't always work as planned. Fortunately, there's an easy way to add crispness back to your veggies if you cooked them the night before. Simply plop them in the oven for a few minutes at high heat. You could also use a toaster oven to accomplish this task. The heat will crisp your okra. Just be careful not to accidentally overcook them.