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Southern stir-fry puts tomatoes to good use

The farmers market in my neighborhood is lush with tomatoes, which leaves me busy looking for all sorts of ways to use fresh ones right now.

Of course, the easiest way always is to just slice ’em up and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper or a dollop of  homemade buttermilk dressing. But every now and then I like to gussy them up — but just a little. After all, it’s August, and let’s face it, I’m pretty relaxed (some might call it lazy) these days.

I ran across this recipe from Southern Living that more than meets my requirements. Look how pretty it is! Your dinner guests will ooh and ahh, and you will have done minimal work to get such adoration.

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PHOTO: SOUTHERN LIVING

Think of it as a Southern stir-fry. This dish brings together tomatoes, okra and red onions, offering a lot of flavor and color. You basically do a little slicing; before you know it, it’s ready for serving alongside grilled chicken or burgers. It would work just fine as a meatless entree too, atop brown rice.

Here’s another thing I like about it: you serve it at room temperature. That means you can set it out and forget about it at picnic or barbecues. (Don’t you hate those dishes where you’re trying to keep them the proper temperature when you’re outdoors? I know I do.)

You know, I’m not okra’s biggest fan, but I think it works just great in this dish. Give it a try and see if you think I’m right.

 

PAN-FRIED OKRA, ONION AND TOMATOES

MAKES 8 SERVINGS

2 pounds fresh okra

½ cup vegetable oil

1 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced

2 large tomatoes, seeded and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons lime juice

1½ teaspoons salt

1½ teaspoons pepper

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules

Cut okra in half lengthwise.

Pour ¼ cup oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook okra in hot oil, in batches, 6 minutes or until browned, turning occasionally. Remove from skillet, and drain well on paper towels. Repeat with remaining okra, adding remaining ¼ cup oil as needed. Cool.

Stir together onion and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; Add okra, tossing to coat. Serve at room temperature.

Southern Living