Category: salads, slaws and such

Pulled Pork & Orzo Italian Salad With roasted garlic

Pulled Pork & Orzo Italian Salad

Published in Carolina Country Magazine May 2020

Creations like this one is why I sometimes feel like the Queen of Throw Cooking!  Because that is just how this tasty salad came to be.

Each year, on the 2nd Sunday in September,  Dinner in the Meadow is held in Franklin County outside Louisburg, NC. Held atop a grassy knoll in the meadow of Meadow Lane Farm, this dinner supports a grant for the chosen applicant of that year’s small farm fund grant.  For many years, I have been a part of the dinner, handling marketing and social media. Most years, I throw together lunch for all the volunteer set up crew and that is how this dish came about.

Friend and farm owner Martha Mobley owns this NC Century Farm where she grows all sorts of organic produce and flowers… and raises all sorts of farm animals, mostly sheep and cows.  Although a full time extension agent in Franklin County, you can find her selling her farm goodness every Saturday at the Durham Farmers’ Market.  She gives me some goodies to work with for the volunteer lunch, so I had the best pork butts you can have to make this salad.

When she gave them to me, freezer to freezer, I had no idea what I’d do with them.  I figured I would probably just make some pulled pork sandwiches… but when time came around, I dug around my pantry to see what else I could throw together instead!  I found some orzo… sun dried tomatoes… some toasted pine nuts… and my head started getting all giddy as I had this vision!  TaDa.
Pork and orzo salad!

That day, Martha said it was the best food she’d ever had and wanted me to make her more.  It took me a while but I did.  I also wanted to put on paper out of my head so I could share with others.  Thus, here came to be, that recipe, on paper, for Carolina Country Magazine customers and anybody else that wants it!  It’s has become one of my favorites too… and I hope you will give it a try as well. It takes just a little forethought to cook the pork, pasta and roasted garlic, but you can then make and enjoy this salad for days. I even froze some to see how it would hold up… and it was just as tasty! 

I do hope you will throw together this salad too.  And if you do, snap a picture and share over on my fun facebook page!  Enjoy y’all…

Pulled Pork and Orzo Italian Salad

 

 

Pulled Pork & Orzo Italian Salad with roasted garlic!

For those who love pasta salads and Italian food, it doesn't get much better! This will feed a crowd, but easy to cut in half... everybody will love it, so make a bunch! Freezes too...

Course: Main Course, Salad, Supper
Cuisine: Italian, Southern
Keyword: Italian, orzo, pasta salad,, pork, pulled pork
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 5-6 lbs. pork butt, cooked, shredded and chopped (cook ahead in crockpot)
  • 1 16 ounce box orzo, cooked per package directions
  • 1 8,5 ounce jar julienned sun dried tomatoes with oil, undrained
  • 1 3.5 ounce capers, drained
  • 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (We used Mt. Olive.)
  • 1 cup white raisins
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed, chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 6 ounce bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 heads roasted garlic
  • 1 cup oil*
Instructions
  1. Cook pork and roast garlic to have ready for assembling salad. For pork, I simply cook in crock pot until fork tender. Remove from drippings when done, shred with fork and cut up big pieces with scissors to bite size.

  2. To roast garlic: *Cut tops from 4 heads of garlic. Place in small baking dish. Pour oil over garlic. Roast at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool and squeeze cloves into salad, along with the oil.

  3. To make salad: Fold pork into orzo. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until well blended. Serve immediately or refrigerate to serve later. Best if removed from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Note: The orzo can be cooked 1–2 days ahead. Cook al dente, and toss with 2 tablespoons oil. Refrigerate in airtight container until ready to make salad.

 

 

Honey Baked Ham Salad …with wilted caraway slaw and rye croutons

Honey Baked Ham Salad With wilted caraway slaw and rye croutons

Ready for something traditional with a nontraditional twist? Impress your table of Easter guests with this eye-catching ham salad. Or jazz up your leftover ham and skip the boring ham sandwich!

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Grilled Southwestern Romaine Salad with NC Shrimp

Grilled Southwestern Romaine with North Carolina Shrimp

Let your grill do the work on this one… dressed up or down as you’d like, grilled southwestern romaine with NC Shrimp is as quick a side as you can fix … but watch it closely, it is ready in a flash!

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Traditional Hawaiian Macaroni Salad… with my little twist

 

Published in Carolina Country Magazine  May 2018

OK… for starters, let me just say that if you are no fan of mayonnaise, you’ll want to skip this one!  Because THE big “thing” about Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is mayonnaise, and a LOT of it. The noodles are cooked soft… well past al dente (it is said so it will absorb more mayonnaise)… mucho mayo to make it very creamy… and you’ll find carrots in there too!

Macaroni salad dates back to the 1880’s in Hawaii and was a staple part of lunch for the pineapple field workers. This salad is found on just about all diner and “plate lunch” menus in Hawaii, often alongside of and served with rice (which is weird to me).  For the most part, the only ingredients are soft macaroni, MAYO, carrots, salt and pepper.  You might see some with a bit of celery and onion, but that’s not often in authentic macaroni salad. And my research found that you NEVER.EVER. put ham or pineapple in there!!  I also found that Best Foods is their preferred brand of mayo, but I’m sure that’s only because they haven’t had Duke’s there!  So my version is made with Duke’s. Period. 
And a couple of tiny twists to make it mine.

I made this one to pair with my Aloha Hula Hot Dogs… it’s hard to fault such a simple recipe and one that goes nicely alongside all sorts of foods. I hope you will give this one a try. I’m not a big fan of pasta, but do love me some mayonnaise, Duke’s… so I’m a fan of this creamy salad.

Aloha y’all!

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Authentic Hawaiian macaroni salad is all about mayonnaise, and a LOT of it! Usually slightly overcooked (to absorb the dressing), it is a staple on their “lunch plates” alongside grilled, fried or teriyaki meats. Enjoy this simple tropical make-ahead side salad this summer!

Course: Brunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Tailgating
Keyword: Hawaiian, macaroni salad
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup sweet pickle juice*
  • 1 large carrot. grated
  • 1/2 large onion, grated
  • 1 small bunch green onions, diced
  • 2 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook macaroni per directions plus 2 minutes until soft. Drain. Stir in pickle juice. Cool 20 minutes.

  2. Add carrot and onions. Combine remaining ingredients and mix into macaroni. Chill 4 hours, or overnight (best). If not moist and creamy, stir in more milk at serving time.
    Remember... this salad is all about the creaminess!

Recipe Notes

*Vinegar with sugar can be substituted for pickle juice. This is important for mayonnaise absorption into the macaroni.

 

It’s Asparagus time… Spring Green Veggie-Pasta Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Spring Green Veggie-Pasta Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

It’s Asparagus time… and here is a simple way to put this bright-in-color-and-flavor salad on your spring table!

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Winter Citrus Salad… with blood orange & red wine vinaigrette ~ Sunshine!

Winter Citrus Salad with Blood Orange & Red Wine Vinaigrette

Vibrant citrus fruits are plentiful in the dead of winter, and this is a great salad to brighten the dreariest of days. Don’t worry about exact measurements for salad ingredients. Use as much or as little as suits your fancy.

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Are your bloomers exposed tonight?

Tub ‘o Chive

Gotcha!
I’m not much on that yard work stuff… but on occasion, it’s simply necessary.  I’ve been at it for weeks, in snippets (to make it more digestible)… in order to make sure I’m as de-snakified as can be.  Because for those who know me, know that I DO NOT DO SNAKES. Period.  No such thing as ‘good snakes’ for this girl.  I actually have thought that I probably need to check myself into some sort of snake phobia program, except I’m sure that would, at some point, involve the handling of snake(s)… therefore, I’m not inclined to voluntarily enroll.

[singlepic id=127 w=320 h=240 float=left]As I was out and about today in my back yard, I smiled as I saw how well my chives are flourishing.  Not being much on gardening either, (aka ‘yard work’), the one thing I’ve always managed to cultivate successfully are chive… or is it chives?  My smile quickly turned to concern as I remembered that… tonight it is supposed to dip into the 20’s!  Just days ago I was sweating in shorts, tank top and flip flops, and here I sit writing this bloomer blurb by a burning fireplace!  When I saw all those cute little chive blossoms… little teardrops …about to ‘splode, I stopped yard work’n (doesn’t take much to divert my attention from THAT!).  I immediately went into ‘mama chive mode’ to do what is needed to protect my bloomers!  Because, you see, we must.

One of my favorite early spring treats are my blooms… thus the importance of bloomer protection!  Did you even know you can EAT those fluffy little lavender flowers?  Some folks do not know this, and so this, my friends, is for you!  (I have had folks look at me like I’m some sort of weirdo when plucking these and snacking while strolling around the yard.)  There are quite a few edible flowers, (note: make sure they have not been treated with chemicals and pesticides… or peed on by passing critters)… and my very favs are chive flowers.  I grow mine in fence hanger boxes and in the Hungarian Baby Bathtub (see picture) so they stay up off the ground and ‘pee free.’  They are really pretty on salads, and a nice surprise for folks not used to eating floral matter.  I, however, don’t always make it back into the house with them… I snack tub side.

The ‘by product’ of these bloomers are the chive fronds… is that what they are called?  I don’t know, and because I know you really don’t care, I’m too tired from all that YARD WORK today to go research proper ‘chivese’ so for now, they’re fronds!

OK… I got a bit diverted there.  Back to bloomer protection!  Short of hauling that big ass Hungarian Baby Bath Tub in the house (and not even possible at this point due to the Ben Gay slathered ‘every muscle aches in my body’ condition), I am putting faith in those annoying[singlepic id=126 w=320 h=240 float=right] plastic grocery store bags… and have bagged my bloomers!  I surely hope that works… ’cause I’m looking forward to the Chive Blossom Jive real soon… maybe by the time they bloom, my old sore muscles will be healed and jive’n will actually be possible… stay tuned!

Oh, P.S.  Do YOU eat chive bloomers?  (I’m just trying my best to get y’all to put something in that comment box down there!)….

And please click the ‘like’ button (if you do) and share on your FB pages and invite your friends to come here too.  THANKXXX

…i can almost smell salt air!

Here it is, middle of February, and as typical here in North Carolina, we’re having a beautimous day approaching 80 degrees!  A few windows have flung open to ‘air out’ the house, hopefully blowing out the germs from another visit from Mr. Winter Crud.  I’m trying to pretend the fragrance of Vick’s Vaporizer that fills the air is actually salt air and close my eyes, visualizing I’m strolling down one of our beautiful North Carolina beaches.

One of my favorite warmish day meals is Shrimp or Seafood Salad.  This is such an easy and f.a.s.t. treat to throw together and for me, gets better after a day or two in the fridge!  I hope you’ll enjoy making this salad and enjoy eating it as much as I do!  Now, I’ve gotta run and rinse the sand off my toes….

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Many recipes I post in my my blog will not give you exact measurements.  I like to teach folks “throw” cook’n… throw some of this, that and the other together till it tastes like you like it!  Those are usually the best dishes, so don’t be afraid!  What’s the worst that can happen?  You have “A” dish that’s not going to be a family fav?  The other side of that is you *might* even create something you’ll be making for years to come!  So, don’t be afraid just because there are no measurements here ~ let’s just  throw down…

Start with fresh local shrimp if possible.  Here in my neck of the woods, I can get peeled and deveined North Carolina Shrimp at Lowe’s Foods (where they have seafood markets).  I stock up when on sale and buy 5# bags still frozen (just ask the folks behind the counter for those).  That way, I can just grab out a few handfuls at the time to throw on a salad, in a quick stir fry or to make shrimp butter to top a steak just off the grill.  Sometimes (as in this batch), I throw in some of that ‘fake’ crab, not a big fav of mine, but in this case, had a few extra folks coming and needed a quick stretch of the salad (and one in the crowd loves the stuff)!  The shrimp need to be well drained…. so throw in the colander to thaw and drain.

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After draining, I take some paper towels and dab the shrimp to dry out as much as possible… then throw in a bowl.

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One of my fav kitchen tools are my Dollar Store scissors… I keep several pair handy (along with my wondermous Cutco Shears).  The scissors are perfect for snipping things like the ‘crab’ in this salad.

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Celery is a ‘must’ for me in seafood salads… so just finely dice up as much as you like., then throw it in the bowl.

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A little red onion never hurts either, so throw that in too!  I usually add some boiled eggs, again, as much or as little as you like… but didn’t use egg in this particular batch.  Sometimes I throw in some pickle relish or cubes too.

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Any kind of pepper will do, but I like using white pepper in light salads!

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…and in my kitchen, the o.n.l.y. mayo is DUKE’S!  End of story.  Start with a couple of tablespoons and stir in… add a tablespoon at the time until the consistency you like.

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The is where you can play with seasonings…now y’all know I’m not one to measure, so throw in whatever herbs and spices you like with fishy wishy stuff.  I sometimes grab a pack of Ranch Dressing mix and throw in a bit to mix with the Duke’s to ‘dress’ this salad.  Even a dab of honey mustard is good in a seafood salad.  Some herbs and spices that work well with shellfish are bay, basil, cayenne, coriander, curry powder, dill, marjoram, oregano, tarragon and thyme.

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And as ‘standard’ for many of us Southern cooks, we have to throw in some sugahhh because that just enhances everything… a little dab ‘l do ya!

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Mix it all up real good, and dish up!  Garnishes that work well are parsley, chive or cilantro… I ♥ cilantro, so I often use that on my Shrimp Salad.  Try to make this a day ahead, or at least a few hours ahead if possible and throw in the fridge.  All those goodies will ‘marry’ and taste bunches better  after ‘dating’ for a while!  I hope this recipe has inspired you to throw together a shrimp salad real soon.  And if you do, come on back here and tell us about it.  And oh, can you smell the salt air where you are?

Candy Apple Slaw… fall in a bowl!

Candy Apple Slaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just like that, it’s fall!  A few morns have dang near felt like we went from summer right into winter. Time to fire up those pig cookers around here in North Carolina and gather ’round friends and family.

Each month, I create a couple of recipes for Carolina Country Magazine.  The November issue is their annual food issue, so I get to do some extra goodies for that.  The issue will hit mailboxes in the next few days and I’ll be back then to share the recipes I did along with my “How To Host A Pig Pick’n” article.  Till then, I’ll share one of my others… 

Our 2018 NC State Fair has come and gone… and I had fun again judging some of the daily special cooking contests… 3 this year.  Something I think about in fall at fair time is candy apples.  So I threw together this Candy Apple Slaw recipe… which would be great to serve at a pig pick’n… or just on your supper table!  We have dozens of varieties of apples here in North Carolina and some farmers’ markets have rows of them available for tasting before you buy.  So visit your local market and find some shiny red apples for this recipe! 

Enjoy this Candy Apple Slaw… and be sure you’re subscribed to my Table Scraps newsletter… about to re-launch after being asleep for a while! 

Candy Apple Slaw @ Carolina Country Magazine!

 

 

 

 

 

Candy Apple Slaw

This sweet and tangy slaw is a tasty, colorful fall side dish. Enjoy the variety of textures … crispy bits of apple along with the chewy cranberries and toasty nuts.

Course: Brunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Farmers Market, Garden Goodies, No Cook, North Carolina Goodies, Southern, Tailgating
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 6 cups chopped cabbage
  • 4 large red apples, diced, not peeled
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed peanut brittle,* opt.
Instructions
  1. Put cabbage, apples, cranberries, onions, seasonings and half the pecans in a large bowl. Add dressing and stir to coat.
  2. Pour into serving bowl and chill several hours. 
  3. At serving time scatter with remaining pecans; scatter optional peanut brittle to add a delightful candy crunch.
Recipe Notes

*Store bought or your own. 

 

 

Italian Rotisserie Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

Throw together this no-cook chicken salad in no time for a tasty meal on a hot summer’s day.

Well here we are, in the dog days of summer!  In my neck of the woods, it’s been the monsoon days of summer. Rain! RaiN! RAIN!  But hopefully, we have a little break in sight for that and can now “look forward” to good old hot.humid.days.of.August!  And who wants to turn on anything that will add to that heat?  Ummmm, nobody.  This recipe for Italian Rotisserie Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes was first published last summer in Carolina Country Magazine and a frequent go-to for me.  We all love to grab a cooked rotisserie chicken now and then… we can do so many things with one… not to mention throwing the skin and bones into the crock pot overnight after pick’n for the BEST flavorful chicken broth. You DO do that don’t you?  Oh there’s so much flavor in those bones and skin (if you don’t eat it) and all you have to do is cover with a quart or two of water, turn on low, and head to bed.  By morning time, you’ll be waking up to the aroma of tasty broth to use for soups, cooking veggies like greens and butterbeans or just to sip. You can throw in some herbs on the front end, or simply cool and freeze and season on the back end depending on how you’ll be using it.  I freeze in pint-size containers and it’s great to be able to grab and cook a little pot of butterbeans or collards with this deliciousness!

So here’s to the versitile Rotisserie Chicken!!  Pick one up today and make this chicken salad twist… ooooh la LA, you’ll be glad you did.

While here, please subscribe to my “Table Scraps” newsletter (green box over there to the right)… an e-zine with great stuff for in, out and about the home!   Take a look at my contributors…

P.S.  Don’t forget to come follow along in my facebook world too…
classy with a bit of sass!!  

Italian Rotisserie Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

Who wants to cook on hot summer days?  No need with this flavorful Italian chicken salad.... just pick up a rotisserie chicken, throw in a few ingredients and toss with the simple Dijon dressing, and that's it!  Except for a juicy ripe summer tomato you're going to stuff with this good stuff.  

Servings: 8
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skinned, boned & shredded (about 5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sliced roasted peppers, drained
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus 2 tablespoons for garniish
  • 1 4 ounce carton feta cheese with basil and tomato, reserve 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons capers drained
  • 8 large tomatoes, cored and drained upside down
DIJON HONEY MUSTARD DRESSING
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • crushed black pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together. Stir dressing into chicken to coat. Add all remaining ingredients (except the tomatoes) and mix well.

  2. Chill several hours or overnight. Stuff tomatoes and garnish with reserved feta cheese crumbles and parsley. Serve immediately
Recipe Notes
  • Don’t cut out too much of the delicious tomato — just enough to mound the chicken salad!
  • If you have fresh herbs... oregano, rosemary, basil, etc., use them instead of dried for more robust flavor!

#BlackboardBlurbs… a little teachable moment!
So what are capers?

…sweet summer corn salad with honey-citrus dressing

Corn…. here, there and over yonder!  Oh, the delicious time of summer is here in all its golden glory, and I don’t know about you, but I just can’t get.enough.CORN!
I love it raw… lightly steamed on the cob… grilled… in my grandma’s corn puddin… as a side…. or as a meal, like last night when I made my favorite corn salad.  Just good nekkid food at its finest…. nekkid just like the Good Lord gave it to us!

summer corn salad with honey citrus dressing

Enjoy this vibrant sweet summer corn salad with honey-citrus dressing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corn time is HOT time here in North Carolina, so anytime I can “cook” supper, without cook’n a damn thing…. well, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. I tell you, we just do not appreciate our local farmers enough… who toil in this heat for US… and bring us their goodness, for such bargain prices! I get a tad defensive when I hear folks saying “that food is more expensive… I can’t afford it.”  Say WHAT?  I sometimes feel like I’m stealing from them, and just say “keep the change” even though it’s a mere pittance of what they deserve.  Having come from generations of farming families in rural NC, I consider them to be “my people.” I know my food didn’t come from the back cooler at the Food Lion.  So when I have the choice, it’s farmers’ market  freshness for this gal.  

…tasty little wheels of fresh summer corn at Raleigh State Farmers Market!

I love strolling about, tasting little “wheels” of fresh corn, to find that day’s bestest! But usually, there’s little difference so I 

…one of many fresh corn vendors at the NC Raleigh State Farmers Market!

try to buy from different farmers each trip to share the love. I think about how early they had to rise to get that freshly harvested load of corn to the market… some coming from counties away.  Sleepy. Hot. Tired. …and ready to call it a day!  And probably not interested in cook’n anything either when they get home.

So wherever you are, run to your local farmers’ market and shop! And don’t cook this salad for supper. Grab some fresh corn…. field peas that are abundant right now, squashes and tomatoes and peaches and figs and melons…. oh my!  The bounty right now is endless… too bad it can’t be available all year long, although if it were, it probably wouldn’t taste nearly as good.  Savor the seasons.… and Make.Corn.Salad!  Your mouth (and those you share it with) will thank you!!

What could be wrong about combining these delicious ingredients together?

The dressing is so simple…. bright and flavorful, and citrus is the perfect pairing with the corn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Summer Corn Salad with Honey-Citrus Dressing

Summer = Farm Fresh Vegetables!  And there are few things better that freshly pulled corn. The hardest thing about corn is deciding which way to eat it on any given day, but when my craving sets in, I just MUST stir up this summer corn salad. There's just nothing like the sweet corn, with its little "bite" stirred together with some feisty radish.... and freshly snipped herbs all dressed simply with honey and the bright flavors of citrus! So run to your local farmers market and get some sweet corn and make some for yourself.  But watch out, it's addicting!

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Farmers Market, No Cook, Southern
Servings: 4 ish
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 5-6 ears fresh corn shucked, cleaned and cut off cob
  • 1 bunch radishes cleaned and chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion diced
  • a few snips fresh herbs (I used chive, cilantro and thyme)
  • about 1/2 cup local honey (drizzle in a little more if suits you!)
  • juice of 1 orange
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1-2 tablespoons Savory Spice Shop California Citrus Rub
Instructions
  1. Combine all vegetables and herbs in large mixing bowl.  Drizzle with honey and juices.  Add spice rub and stir to combine.  EAT!!

Recipe Notes
  1. Feel free to add other herbs that you prefer. I just use what I have growing in my herb pots around the porch.   Feel free to throw in other veggies too!  I sometimes add a little bit of minced celery to this salad. Just don't get too carried away and lose focus on the CORN.
  2. If you do not have a Savory Spice Shop near you (although you can order their incredible goodies online!)... just look at what they have in it and use similar things.  I do love pairing citrus with the honey for this salad.  It just seems like a perfect match. You can zest your orange and lime into the salad and add whatever seasonings you have on hand.  Don't not make it just because you don't have the SSS rub.  

Beat the heat with this Green & Gold Okra Summer Salad! No cook’n here….

Green and Gold Okra Salad

Published in Carolina Country Magazine Summer 2018

Well I don’t know about where you are, but here in Eastern North Carolina, we’re in the middle of a ridiculous heat wave…. too bad it can’t melt fat off our bodies like heat melts fat in my cast iron fry’n pan!  I saw this cute little what-cha-majig recently and just had to have it! I’m not one for dust collectors, but this one makes me giggle! And who doesn’t need more giggles in their life? My body has been doing a lot of “crying” this past week.  Not because of being OUT in the heat, but mostly from hearing the cha-ching of the AC running nearly non-$top INside!

Okra is every which way these days, so today, because there’s not much cooking going on, I wanted to share with y’all this okra salad I first made several years ago in a cooking class at Savory Spice Shop in Raleigh…. my toy store!  If’n you have a Savory near you and haven’t been there, and do any sort of cooking at any point in time…. I order you to GO THERE! (Check out their nationwide store locator.)  Even if your bought food just needs some spiff’n up, go there. When Bob and Cindy Jones opened their store years back, I high tailed it right on over there, and we’ve been buddies since day one.  I used to buy those “other” spices (that start with a P)…. but the assortment at Savory is IT. And you can purchase in tiny amounts, or by the boatload!  Lots of area chefs and competition (barbecue) cooks create their secrets from Savory. They are always bringing in new herbs and spices from around the globe… and new blends…. and I especially love all their salt free ones.… like I use in this salad.   They have lists of all sorts of their blends with no garlic, no onion, no this or that, etc. (See all that on the left margin of link.)  Something for all!

At my class, there were about 15 or so “Yankees.”  When I said the word “okra” I saw these blank stares across the board…. and might have heard a few signs of disgust. Bless their hearts, they didn’t grow up eating this mostly-southern green garden candy like we did….. and probably only saw it boiled and slimy… although we true Southerners do love it that way too… and fried, and roasted, and grilled…. and pickled!  As a matter of fact, my first okra memories were eating it that way…. slimy!  My Mama Hocutt would boil the hell out of it, drain it, and put in some butter… and me and Daddy Hocutt would pull those seeds out of the slimy pods through our teeth and then eat the pods…. together, me and him!  He died when I was 8, but I remember eating “stewed okra” as she called it, with him, like it was yesterday!

OK…. so back to the salad!  My salad is published in the current August issue of Carolina Country magazine... I had to tweak it a bit from my original version to make it more generic since not everybody across North Carolina that gets the magazine has access to a Savory (although there are 4 Savory’s in NC and you can also shop online!)…. nor my friend Paige’s Yah’s Best products and her Summer Mango Salsa I used in the class… available in lots of places across NC!  

Yah’s Best Summer Mango Salsa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here’s the generic recipe, with notes on how to make my original version…. with Savory’s Salt-Free Summit County Seasoning (one of my faves there) and Yah’s Summer Mango Salsa!  I do hope you will try it and come back to let me know what you think…. and one note, it’s best if you eat it shortly after making it…. especially if you don’t like the “slime” factor. It’s good overnight, but some of that starts showing up…. so without further blabbering…. here you go!

Green & Gold Summer Okra Salad

We are all used to stewing and frying okra, but surprise your guests with this delightfully different way to enjoy a Southern summertime favorite... RAW... in a fresh salad!  You will find 2 versions below.... my original version created several years ago for a (non) cooking class and this newer more generic version for the magazine.... for folks who don't have access to Yah's Best Summer Mango Salsa and Summit County Spice Blend from Savory Spice Shop.  Make one or the other, or take parts and pieces from each to make your own version. Either way, it's just damn good.

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Author: Wendy Perry
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • juice and zest 1 lime
  • 3 large mangos
  • 1 small sweet onion peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups white seedless grapes halved
  • 1-2 cups mild green and gold peppers seeded and sliced
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 quarts okra sliced in 1/2" pieces shortly before serving time
  • 1 large jalapeno optional
Instructions
  1. Combine vinegar, sugar, pepper, lime juice and zest. Whisk together and let stand while making salad.
  2. Combine mango, onion, grapes and sweet mild peppers. You can make the salad up to this point ahead of time and keep refrigerated several hours.
  3. When ready to serve, toss cilantro and fresh-sliced okra (in ½" pieces) into mango mixture. Stir well and garnish with jalapeno slices. 

Recipe Notes

If you would like to make my original version.... do this:

To the cut up okra, add in 1 pint carton of Yah's Best Summer Mango Salad and 1-2 tablespoons of Savory Spice Shop's Summit County Seasoning! That's it.... 
It's just fresh sweet and savory summer in your mouth!

Y’all keep cool wherever you are… and feed your fat some of this crispy salad so maybe it will stop cry’n!