Okra Helps Dress Up Potato Salad
Martha Rose Shulman , The New York Times | Updated: July 13, 2017 16:07 IST
A salad is a wonderful vehicle for okra. The vinegar and lemon juice in the dressing can mitigate okra’s slime factor. In Greece and the Middle East, cooks deal with this characteristic of okra by tossing and marinating it in vinegar with salt before cooking. In this potato salad, the okra gets the vinegar-and-salt treatment in the form of a vinaigrette after cooking. What’s left of the okra goop contributes to the viscosity of the dressing.
Cooked okra has an almost pickled essence and, when steamed briefly (as in this recipe), it retains a nice crisp-tender texture. Its tangy flavor and sturdy texture play beautifully against the nutty and soft potatoes.
To make the salad, I steam the potatoes first and, as soon as they’re done, season them and toss them with a portion of the lemon juice and vinegar dressing. Then, I briefly steam and slice the trimmed okra and toss everything together. The small amount of okra goop blends with the yogurt and olive oil in the dressing and bathes the vegetables. It tastes like a creamy potato salad with a garlicky Mediterranean accent.
Okra and Potato Salad
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
3/4 pound small potatoes, preferably fingerlings, scrubbed and sliced about 1/2-inch thick
1 pound okra
1 serrano pepper, seeded if desired, minced
1 shallot, minced, soaked for 5 minutes in cold water, and drained
1 garlic clove, puréed in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 to 2 ounces crumbled feta for serving (optional)
1. Mix together lemon juice and vinegar in a small bowl.
2. Steam potatoes above 1 inch water for 10 minutes, until tender enough to easily pierce with the tip of a knife. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice-vinegar mix.
3. Trim away okra stems, just above the line where the stem cap joins the okra spear. Place in steamer, cover and steam 4 minutes. Drain and rinse briefly with cold water, then drain on a dish towel.
4. Slice okra about 1/3- to 1/2-inch thick and add to bowl with potatoes. Add serrano and shallot. Season generously with salt and pepper, and toss together.
5. Whisk garlic, yogurt and olive oil into remaining lemon juice-vinegar mix. Toss with the okra and potatoes. Add parsley and toss again. Garnish with crumbled feta if desired, and serve.
© 2015 The New York Times News Service
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