Simple and fresh are often the best ingredients to an amazing dish. Right down the road from our home in Watersound, there is a weekly Farmer’s Market on Sundays in Rosemary Beach, and a quick bike ride along 30A is the perfect way to find the makings of a delicious salad. For this salad, the okra caught my eye first, and I built my salad around this delicious summer vegetable. A gentle sear on a medium-hot grill with some olive oil and seasoning is all you need to bring out the best in this tender vegetable. In addition to the okra, I found some exquisite homegrown arugula, tomatoes, red bell peppers and fresh basil. At home, I added an avocado and burrata to complete the salad with just a drizzle of dressing and salt and pepper. I served it with some delicious Kalamata olive bread from GeorgeRachelMiller and it was just perfect for summer! “Mano’s” was selling some amazing homemade spreads and dips like tabouli, jalapeño-cilantro dip, babaganoush and much more. There is plenty of taste testing permitted, which ensures you will get just the right dip to suit your tastebuds. If you are in the area, be sure to support the local vendors for access to the freshest produce, and I advise getting there early for the best selection!
- 2 pints fresh okra
- 6 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 8 oz arugula
- 1/4 cup thinly shaved red onion
- 1 medium red pepper, diced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 bunch basil, julienned
- 4 oz buratta
- 1/4 cup approximately olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Alessi balsamic glaze
- kosher salt and pepper
Directions: Heat your grill to 350. Toss the okra in about 2 tablespoons of oil, until well coated. Season with salt and pepper and place okra on grill for about 10 minutes, turning frequently until beginning to char on each side and turning golden all over. Remove from grill and set aside. Assemble the salad by spreading arugula on the platter in an even layer. Lay tomato slices atop arugula and grilled okra on sliced tomatoes. Fan out avocado on either end of your platter and place burrata on one end. Sprinkle salad with diced red pepper, basil and shaved red onion. Season the salad generously with salt and pepper (this will help the tomatoes release their juices to combine with the rest of the salad) and drizzle balsamic glaze and remaining olive oil all over your platter. Serve immediately and enjoy with good fresh bread.