In Houston, Texas, okra will grow almost year-round. “We cultivate a few different varieties of okra in the garden each year,” says Coltivare’s executive chef and co-owner Ryan Pera, “so the garden is truly the inspiration for this dish.” Heirloom polenta gives the dish its Italian spin.
¼ cup mayonnaise
2-3 cloves black garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon juice to taste
½ cup dry polenta
½ cup corn flour
1 cup fresh okra, cut into half inch medallions
1 cup buttermilk
3-4 cups high temp oil, such as canola oil, for frying
1 ounce canned giardiniera, liquid drained off
- Combine mayo and black garlic cloves in a blender with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Add a squeeze of lemon juice for taste as desired.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees in a dutch oven. Combine dry polenta and corn flour into wide, shallow bowl or plate, add a pinch of salt and pepper and mix with a fork until combined. Dredge okra medallions first in buttermilk, then immediately into the cornmeal mixture until thickly coated. Drop okra into oil in small batches to maintain heat. Cook until crispy, golden brown and set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- To serve, swipe back garlic sauce on the bottom of a round plate, pile crispy okra on top, garnish with giardiniera and parsley.
Recipe byRyan Pera of Coltivare in Houston, Texas