Blood Orange Salad of Mixed Greens, Creamy Roquefort, Avocado and Toasted Pecans with Fried Okra Croutons
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe by:
Serves: 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 6 cups firmly packed mixed greens
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 4 avocados, peeled and sliced
  • 5 blood oranges, supremed and sliced into rounds
  • 2 blood oranges, juiced and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons sugarcane vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 15 pods of medium-sized whole okra
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
  • 1 cup toasted pecan halves
  • 1 cup Roquefort cheese, bite-sized chunks
Instructions
  1. If you do not use pre-washed mixed greens, be sure to clean all greens thoroughly. Place all lettuce in a large mixing bowl and add the fresh basil, mint, onion, and avocado. Making sure that all of the pith is removed, add the blood orange slices to the salad mixture.
  2. In a stainless steel mixing bowl, add the orange juice, cane vinegar, mustard, and agave nectar along with a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. With an immersion blender on high, slowly drizzle olive oil while blending until an emulsion forms. It should take about a half cup of olive oil to reach the desired consistency of vinaigrette.
  3. In a deep-sided skillet half filled with peanut oil, heat over medium heat to 400ºF.
  4. Rinse the okra and place on paper towel to dry. With a knife, remove the stem cap and tip slicing the remaining okra into small round slices about the size of your thumb tip. Place cut okra in a bowl and set aside.
  5. In a mixing bowl add the cornmeal, flour, Cajun seasoning, salt, and black pepper, and combine. Add the blended dry ingredients to a paper bag. Add the cut okra into the bag and rotate the bag vigorously back and forth to coat the okra pieces.
  6. Place a wire rack over a tray and pour the okra out onto the rack, shaking to let the excess coating drop through to the tray. Add the okra pieces to the peanut oil a handful at a time and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove to paper towels and salt immediately.
  7. To assemble, toss the greens mixture with the dressing. Add the toasted pecans and toss again. Plate the salad on individual serving plates making sure to evenly distribute all of the ingredients among the plates. Add chunks of Roquefort to each. Drizzle each salad with a little more of the dressing and top with the hot fried okra. With a grind of black pepper, serve immediately.
Notes
You can search for the individual specialty lettuces or purchase a pre-washed container of mixed greens. Just be sure to find the premium mix that contains arugula, endive, baby spinach and other quality lettuces. It’s okay to vary but do buy the good stuff. Oh, and remember to add some fresh herbs – basil and mint – from your garden. Pecans from Cane River Pecan Company are the best. I like my pecan halves spritzed with a little olive oil spray and toasted with just salt, but, if you like them sweeter or spicier, toss them in sugar or a little chili powder.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at https://www.acadianatable.com/2013/04/29/blood-orange-salad/