Garden Salad With Fried Okra Croutons
By Paula Deen
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 10 minutes
- Servings: 10
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 juiced, plus 1 teaspoon zest lemon
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups cut into 1/2-inch pieces okra
- to coat buttermilk
- black pepper
- to coat flour
- for frying vegetable oil
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 sliced red bell pepper
- 1 sliced yellow bell pepper
- thinly sliced Vidalia onion
For the balsamic dressing: In a small bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, mustard, zest, garlic and lemon juice. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
For the fried okra: Add okra pieces to a medium bowl. Drizzle just enough buttermilk to coat the okra and toss together. Season with salt and pepper. To a separate bowl, add flour. Drain the okra and add to the flour bowl, toss the okra to coat each piece with flour. Shake off any excess flour. Fry at 350 °F until golden brown, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to paper-towel lined plate to drain.
For the salad: In a large bowl, combine the baby spinach, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers and onions. Toss with the balsamic dressing and top with the fried okra croutons.