Tomato and Okra Salad
- 1 pound okra
- 3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 1 small head Boston lettuce
- 1/4 cup Classic Vinaigrette
- 2 teaspoons Chile Oil, or to taste
- CLASSIC VINAIGRETTE:
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- CHILE OIL:
- 1 cup peanut oil
- 6 fresh bird chiles, or to taste
- Place the chiles in the oil in a fancy cruet and allow them to rest for 1 week, until they have flavored the oil. Add a drop or two of the oil to your usual cooking oil for a special zap.
- Yield: 1 cup
Wash and top and tail the okra, discarding any blemished or hard pods. Cook the okra as for boiled okra (see recipe below). Drain it and allow it to cool. Prepare the tomatoes. Wash the lettuce, break it into leaves, pat dry, and arrange the leaves on a large platter. Mound the okra on top of the lettuce and top with the chopped tomatoes. When ready to serve, dress the salad with vinaigrette to which you have added 2 teaspoons of chile oil.CLASSIC VINAIGRETTE:
Combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a small glass bowl and beat well with a fork or wire whisk. Gradually drizzle in the olive oil, making sure that all the ingredients are well mixed. Serve at once in a sauceboat or drizzle over the salad and toss. Yield: about 3/4 cupCHILE OIL:
Wash and top and tail the okra, discarding any blemished or hard pods. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and saute the onion until it is translucent. Add the okra and cook it for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the stock, cover, and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the okra is fork-tender. Add the lemon juice and serve hot.
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