Coast Cooking

Okra and tomatoes are a great pairing

By JULIAN BRUNT

Special to the Sun Herald

Okra and tomatoes as swerved by Chef Alex Perry of Vestige in Ocean Springs.
Okra and tomatoes as swerved by Chef Alex Perry of Vestige in Ocean Springs. Special to the Sun Herald

Today is the last day of blog posts about summer vegetables, at least for a while.

I have been trying to make several points this week, the first being the variety of vegetables we have in the South throughout the summer and that you can visit a certified farmers’ market where you can buy fresh, locally sourced things to eat.

Let’s put two veggies together that you might not suspect hold hands: okra and tomatoes. This unlikely pair does amazingly well as a summertime salad.

You can use a variety of tomatoes, just to mix things up a bit, like yellow and red. Try to find heirloom tomatoes for best results or at least locally grown tomatoes that never saw the inside of a hot house.

What brings this dish together is the grilling of the okra. All it takes is a little olive oil and a hot grill, preferably a wood fire or hardwood charcoal fire. The tomatoes don’t have to be grilled, but it wouldn’t hurt, just don’t overdo it. Toss in your best olive oil, use a good pinch of salt and serve at once.

Chef Alex Perry of Vestige in Ocean Springs had a version of this dish on his menu last year, as seen in today’s image.

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