Gourmandistan

Roasted green bean, corn and okra salad, our shrimpless salute to Dewees Island

Dewees IslandYet another Dewees Island trip is drawing to a close. As we do at the shore, we indulged ourselves in local seafood, particularly shrimp, which Michelle managed to eat for at least one meal every day but one. Much as the local fishmongers might argue to the contrary, however, one cannot exist completely on shrimp. Instead, we present you with this delightful green bean, corn and okra salad.

Roasted green bean, corn and okra salad 3

Before we gift you with the recipe, we will again relate the loveliness of this little island jut a bit separated from Charleston, South Carolina. We found Dewees still delightfully deserted even through Memorial Day weekend, a time Americans traditionally jam just about any stretch of sand. Steve spent some quality time with his favorite tide pools, and managed to get dive-bombed with poop by a seabird protecting its nest. Michelle wandered the beach, had quite a few nice lunches in Charleston, managed to avoid bird poop (but not legal work) and managed to cook many delicious meals, most of which included shrimp. The debut of the green beans, corn and okra, however, did not.

Dewees Island

We bought the corn, beans and okra at a farmers’ market on Johns Island. It was a somewhat hurried visit, as we were preparing to hunker down in the face of Tropical Storm Bonnie. (Of course, Steve still managed to score several kinds of fruit.) We returned to the island as the rain and winds grew heavier, spending the night monitoring local TV for weather updates. Fortunately Bonnie didn’t do much more than dump a lot of rain on Dewees, and everyone in our party actually enjoyed spending an entire day on the island. The rain and heavy sea warnings made our decision to stay on the island seem wise, but also meant we could not venture over to Charleston to purchase more shrimp. Instead we had hamburgers, and this lovely salad as one of the sides. Michelle found a version of this recipe from Food & Wine, but thought that roasting the vegetables before tossing them with this simple vinaigrette would be a good idea. She was right, and our shrimpless meal was delicious.

We will once again miss Dewees and the proximity to local shrimp (also the facts that Michelle’s dad pays for everything and her mom beautifully folds our clothes and makes the bed when we’re not looking). While we don’t think we would want to live on the South Carolina coast forever, it is certainly nice to visit every so often. We hope we can keep returning, but know that soon beans, corn and okra will arrive in Gourmandistan’s more permanent home. Then we can make this salad again, and shrimplessly remember our time at Dewees.

Dewees Island

ROASTED GREEN BEAN, CORN AND OKRA SALAD

(inspired by this recipe in Food & Wine)

  • ½ c. coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 6 ears of corn, shucked
  • ½ pound green beans, chopped into 1-½” pieces
  • ½ pound okra, chopped into ½” pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus a little more olive oil
  • 2-½” TB cider vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 or 4 scallions or green onions, thinly sliced
  • Handful of chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Put the nuts in a pie plate and toast until browned. Set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 450° F (or perhaps higher if you’re in a rental house with a somewhat sketchy oven).

Remove kernels from corn. Toss corn kernels in a bowl with green bean and okra pieces and a small amount of olive oil (enough to lightly coat, but not drench). Spread oiled vegetables on a large baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally with a spatula, until vegetables have some char. Remove from oven and set aside to cool a bit.

Make a dressing out of the olive oil with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Toss the scallions with the warm vegetables. Add dressing to taste. Just before serving, add nuts and parsley.

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29 comments

  1. What a wonderful recipe and I can actually make it and understand it as I’m now a southerner… Almost. So glad Bonnie didn’t need up the trip and I hour you didn’t do too much legal work (funny pun about bird poop dump and legal work dump). What a wonderful trip you guys had. So happy you ate well, spent time with family and relaxed. Next time we should coordinate for at least a drink! Can’t wait to make this at home. Xo

    • Steve used to have a “Volunteer Lawyer” button that for some reason amused him to no end. So you can definitely be a “Volunteer Southerner” at least every now and then! We had a lovely time. Hope you did, too.

  2. What a lovely post and recipe. I am a bit envious you get to see such beautiful places and get to eat great food with your loved ones. C’est beau la vie.

  3. Gorging on local seafood sounds amazing. But I know what you mean when there’s too much of a good thing.

    This post would make a great addition to Our Growing Edge, a monthly blog link up just for new food adventures. It’s a fun way to share your new food experiences with other foodies. This month’s theme is TASTES OF SUMMER.

    More info including how to submit your link here: http://bunnyeatsdesign.com/our-growing-edge/

    • I have had an ambivalent relationship with okra. As a kid I thought it ruined my grandmother’s otherwise wonderful vegetable soup. But now I see that there can be uses for it!

    • Thanks, Teresa. I’m starting to appreciate its merits. Which would surprise my grandmother. I used to pick out every piece of okra from her delicious vegetable soup!

  4. VBruce

    The pictures are great and Michelle, your Dad and Mom haven’t been touched much by time, looking happy and healthy. Sorry, girl, despite living long in Austin, I hate okra but anything with green beans and sweet corn can cure the stringy okra. So glad you all survived the wind and had a precious time together. See you soon.

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