Yup, okra is here, and we are ready to dig in. Check out this recipe from Louisiana Cookin that combines crispy fried okra with sweet heirloom tomatoes, both of which are available at all five CCFM markets. This recipe has them topped them with a rich, lemony mix of crème fraîche and buttermilk for a distinctly Southern taste that captures the flavors of the season. Find buttermilk at the Country Girls Creamery or cheat and make your own by adding a tablespoon of either lemon juice or white vinegar to a cup of milk and allowing it to sit for ten minutes to curdle.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, Creole seasoning, salt, baking powder, cayenne, and ground black pepper.
In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and zest.
In a large skillet, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°. Dip okra in buttermilk mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess. Fry, in batches, for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Let drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.
In a small bowl, whisk together crème fraîche, buttermilk, lemon zest and juice, paprika, cayenne, and chives until combined. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.
On a large platter, arrange tomatoes as desired. Top with fried okra, and drizzle with crème fraîche mixture. Garnish with chives, if desired. Serve immediately.
Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.