Chef Chris Hastings’ Tomato Salad with Fried Okra, Field Peas, Sweet Corn and Bacon

Wash, core and slice tomatoes. Toss in balsamic vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper. Set aside.

To prepare the okra, corn, field peas, balsamic vinaigrette, basil dressing and bacon, heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Trim okra stems and place in a small bowl with the buttermilk. Toss until coated. Combine corn flour, cornmeal and all-purpose flour in medium size bowl. Add salt and pepper. Drain okra from buttermilk. Toss in cornmeal mixture and shake off excess. Fry in vegetable oil until golden. Drain on paper towels. Set aside. Season with salt and pepper

To prepare the field peas, simmer field peas in onion, water, fresh thyme, bacon trimmings and salt until just tender. When done, cool and set aside in small bowl.

To prepare the corn, boil corn in salted water. Remove when tender. Shave kernels off cob and combine with butter beans. Add 3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette and let sit.

Chive Aioli

Place garlic and chives in small bowl. Add yolk, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Vigorously whisk in olive oil, being sure to create emulsion. Add crème fraîche. Add a drop or two of water if too thick.

Yield: 1 ¼ cups

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Combine all ingredients. Hold.

Yield: 2 cups


Arrange sliced tomatoes on plates. Place whole sweet 100 tomatoes around the sliced tomatoes. Divide field peas and corn mixture evenly among plates. Arrange okra, bacon and shrimp on plates. Drizzle basil dressing over all ingredients and serve.

Note: Look for a variety of locally grown tomatoes at the farmer’s market. If not available, look for good local tomatoes.