As my mother would say, “It’s hotter than H outside.” The weatherman promised rain but there is not a cloud in sight. I’m standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open just to catch my breath. Doc and I had 2 refrigerators that bit the dust this summer at the same time. I know you are wondering why 2 people need 3 refrigerators. We collected them over 35 years of various moves and kitchen remodels. Their contents took on a life of their own. The garage refrigerator even had a sign on the door that said, “Please shut the door.” It was over 30 years old and needed some assistance!
When the burly men from the box store took both refrigerators to refrigerator heaven (Isn’t that where all refrigerators go when they die?) on my kitchen counter was a collection of food, condiments, and several unmarked quart jars of wink, wink, water my kids had left when they came home for Christmas. (Wink, wink water: a drink someone hands you and winks; you know it isn’t water.)
With hot weather comes the season’s bounty of fresh vegetables. In most succotash recipes all the vegetables are cooked in a skillet and the flavors meld together. In Summer Succotash with Crispy Okra, each vegetable’s flavor shines individually. The crispy okra is the star of the show. Enjoy!
Summer Succotash with Crispy Okra
15 okra pods, about the size of your index finger, sliced lengthwise in quarters
1 tablespoon olive oil
Place top oven rack 6 inches from broiler. Place a sheet pan in oven to preheat on broil. (Hot pan will cook okra faster.) Turn oven on high broil. While element is heating, drizzle sliced okra with olive oil. Stir with your fingers to evenly coat okra with oil. When element is red-hot place sliced okra in pan. Spread okra in a single layer leaving space between each piece. Sprinkle with salt. Broil until edges brown and are crispy, about 6 minutes. Turn okra over and broil on other side until crispy. (Keep an eye on the okra. Cooking times will vary, as some broilers are hotter than others!) Remove from oven, place on paper towel lined plates, and set aside to cool.
2 cups cooked lima beans seasoned with butter, kosher salt and pepper.
2 ears fresh corn, shucked, silks removed, and charred on grill or gas range flame and kernels cut from cob
1 ½ cups halved grape tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Arrange lima beans, corn, tomatoes and okra on platter. Season to taste.
Published in The News and Neighbor on July 18, 2018.