Cast Iron

Charred Okra Succotash Salad

June 12, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

First, choose small, pinky-size okra so they're soft—even sweet. Blacken them whole in a slick of bacon fat, and they're suddenly the smoky, meaty, crunchy backbone that your summer succotash has always longed for. Corn, tomatoes, and limas get tossed right in the same skillet, and the whole dish is finished with bright, punchy hits of lemon, parsley, and basil; it is a salad, after all—a best-of-summer, spoonable, no-slime salad. —EmilyC

Test Kitchen Notes

Reprinted with permission from Food52 Mighty Salads 60 New Ways to Turn Salad into Dinner by The Editors of Food52, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound okra
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into lardons
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen lima beans
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 ears of corn)
  • 4 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Juice of 1 lemon, to taste
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed basil leaves, torn
  1. Rinse and thoroughly dry the okra, then trim the tops.
  2. In a 12-inch (30cm) skillet (cast iron works well), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring every so often, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour the bacon fat into a small, heatproof bowl. Wipe out the pan.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lima beans, turn down the heat, and simmer until tender, which can take anywhere from a few minutes to 20 minutes, depending on the freshness of your lima beans. Drain.
  4. Coat the bottom of the pan with bacon fat and warm over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Working in batches, arrange the okra in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until nicely charred on the bottom, several minutes. Flip the okra and continue to cook until crisp-tender and charred on all sides, about 3 minutes. Taste an okra pod to check doneness; if the okra is charring too quickly, turn down the heat. Transfer the okra to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  5. Pour more bacon fat or olive oil into the pan if needed and warm over medium-high heat. Add the corn, scallions, and red pepper flakes and sauté until the corn is crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt.
  6. Turn the heat down to low and add the bacon, lima beans, and cherry tomatoes. Toss gently and cook until just warmed through, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding as much of the lemon juice as you like. Remove from the heat.
  7. Add the parsley and basil and toss together. Serve warm or at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Loreal
  • alexisfromtexas

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

2 Reviews

alexisfromtexas June 12, 2021
I made this tonight with seared salmon. What a great summer dinner. I love the addition of the charred okra and the freshness of the vegetables was better than I'd imagined.
Loreal September 12, 2020
Wonderful recipe—helped me clean out my crisper!