Are you a friend of okra? If so, you'll love this warm summer salad or summer squash, sweet cherry tomatoes, grilled corn and grilled okra.
Are you anti-okra? You, too, will love this warm summer salad: That's because you can leave simply leave it out. Add grilled eggplant. Or some cooked black beans. Or fresh green garbanzos, if you score them at the market and you're wondering what to do with them.
I'm calling it a warm summer salad because I conceived it to be eaten warm. But it's also great at room temp. Or even straight out of the fridge the next day.
It may be the most versatile warm salad in the universe.
It's great with cheese crumbled on – queso fresco or cotija, for a Mexican or modern Tex-Mex feel. Feta gives it a Greek accent. Shaved ricotta salata spins it Italian, especially if you make it with basil. Try cilantro, if you want to be more Mexican, or parsley for more Greek. Or mint. It's a salad without borders.
Leaving off the cheese sacrifices nothing – and makes it vegan.
It's fabulous as a starter or main course salad on its own. Serve it next to or under some grilled fish or chicken or lamb (or beef or pork or tofu . . . ) and you've got a gorgeous, cheffy main course.
See what I mean? It's versatile.
Don't feel like grilling the corn? Don't worry – just cut it raw off the cob and toss it in with the squash. Want to use more of one vegetable and less of another? Go ahead – it's a free country. Use balsamic or red wine vinegar in place of the sherry vinegar if you like. Throw in a handful of toasted pine nuts, or a spoonful of leftover basil. Serve it on a bed of quinoa or lentils or arugula. Or toss some arugula or microgreens on top.
It's your salad. Now go for it.