Fried Okra and Eggplant: Seasonal Chef Recipe

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Dredged in a delicious organic cornmeal, and fried to a light crispy crunch, the first okra and eggplants of the summer season shine with a tasty seasoned yogurt dip. Click this link to read more about okra and to see how to make this recipe.

Crispy Fried Okra and Eggplant with Za'atar Yogurt Dip

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Crispy Fried Okra and Eggplant with Za'atar Yogurt Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of mixed baby okra (3-4" long) and Japanese eggplant (2" diameter)
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup coarse grind cornmeal, I used: Wild Hive Farm cornmeal
  • Canola oil, or another that is flavorless
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, I used: Sohha Yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon za'atar spice, I used: Spice Revolution Za'atar
  • Juice 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry the okra and eggplant. Slice the okra in half lengthwise, and the eggplant into 1/4" coins. Season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Set up a dipping station with the cornstarch in one pan, eggs in one pan, and the cornmeal in the last with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper mixed in.
  3. in a 9" skillet add enough oil to bring the level to 1" and set over medium high heat. Set up a rack or sheet tray lined with paper towels next to the sauté pan.
  4. Add the okra and eggplant to the cornstarch toss well and then drop on a mesh colander to shake off the excess starch. Dip on the egg and then the cornmeal shaking off the excess.
  5. Test the oil to make sure it's hot enough by using one small piece of eggplant. If its not hot enough the vegetables will simmer and get oil soaked. (Not good eats!) Fry for 3 to 4 minutes and flip. Remove and drain in your colander and toss with a little kosher salt. Set on the paper towel to cool.
  6. While the veggies are frying combine the yogurt, za'atar, lime juice and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Top with the sesame seeds and serve with the crispy veggies.

Notes

You can also use green beans and small zucchini in this recipe as well.

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Fried Okra and Japanese Eggplant
Serves 4-6

1 lb of mixed baby okra and Japanese eggplant
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 eggs
1 cup coarse grind cornmeal, I used: Wild Hive Farm cornmeal
Canola oil, or another that is flavorless
1 cup Greek yogurt, I used Sohha Yogurt
1/2 teaspoon za’atar spice, I used Spice Revolution’s blend
Juice 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

1. Wash and dry the okra and eggplant. Slice the okra in half lengthwise, and the eggplant into 1/4? coins. Season well with salt and pepper.

2. Set up a dipping station with the cornstarch in one pan, eggs in one pan, and the cornmeal in the last with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper mixed in.

3. In a 9? skillet add enough oil to bring the level to 1? and set over medium high heat. Set up a rack or sheet tray lined with paper towels next to the sauté pan.

4. Add the okra and eggplant to the cornstarch toss well and then drop on a mesh colander to shake off the excess starch. Dip on the egg and then the cornmeal shaking off the excess.

5. Test the oil to make sure it’s hot enough by using one small piece of eggplant. If its not hot enough the vegetables will simmer and get oil soaked. (Not good eats!) Fry for 3 to 4 minutes and flip. Remove and drain in your colander and toss with a little kosher salt. Set on the paper towel to cool.

6. While the veggies are frying combine the yogurt, za’atar, lime juice and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Top with the sesame seeds and serve with the crispy veggies.

Cook’s Note:
You can also use green beans and small zucchini in this recipe as well.

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About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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