Sometimes vegan is appropriate after a booze and meat-filled long weekend, yes?
In other news, this is one of my most favorite new side dishes ever. I made it a few weeks ago for dinner, then I taught it at a cooking class, now I’m showing YOU. It’s that good. 3 times in 10 days good.
We had lunch a few weeks ago at one of our favorite local restaurants, Bacon Brothers, and they had a side dish that was kind of like this. It was blackened okra with romesco, and it was SO GOOD. It was a little different than this: we didn’t char our okra quite as much and we used fresh tomatoes in the sauce, but both versions were insanely delicious SO if you go to Bacon Bros. before they change the menu try theirs, and if you don’t, make your own! Okra is everywhere right now, at least where we live, and side dishes made from super duper cheap local produce just makes ya feel good about life.
You need fresh okra, duh. Then for the sauce you need tomatoes, olive oil, almonds (these are salted, but you can use any kind of almonds you like), a clove of garlic, some onion, and smoked paprika. I LOVE smoked paprika and find it weird places like TJMaxx, but if you don’t have any and don’t feel like using it just skip it. No worries!
Let’s make the sauce first. The “prep” involves cutting the onion into large chunks and peeling the garlic, then doing the same with the tomatoes. If you use all grape tomatoes you can just leave them whole.
Try this soon. And pair it with cheese or something to offset the vegan.
- 2 pints okra, halved lengthwise
- salt, to taste
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, or equivalent (if tomatoes are large, cut into chunks)
- 1/2 small onion, cut into chunks
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup marcona or other almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Make the sauce. Pulse the onion, garlic, and almonds in a food processor to chop. Add the tomatoes, paprika, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. Pulse until nearly pureed.
- Transfer the sauce to a skillet over medium heat. Cook the sauce for 10-15 minutes until the onion has cooked slightly, stirring every few minutes. Taste, and add more salt to the sauce if you'd like.
- Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Arrange the okra cut side up on a baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray, sprinkle with salt. Broil the okra until the tops are browned but not burned (no need to flip the okra). Serve drizzled with the romesco sauce.