Crispy Okra Slaw
By Adrian Forte
I got the inspiration for this dish from my friend chef Bashir Munye. Bashir often cooks with okra and served an iteration of this salad at one of our Black Creek Community Farm dinners. A lot of people are afraid of cooking with okra, but this dish is a great introduction. It works as a fresh side to any meat, fish, or chicken dish or can be eaten as a salad on its own.
PREP: 10 MIN
COOK: 25 MIN
- 1 lb okra
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp berbere spice (or smoked paprika)
- 1 medium tomato, cored, seeded and julienned
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onions
- About ½ cup tahini
- Salt, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Trim the okra by cutting away the stem ends and the tips—just the very ends. Then cut the okra in half lengthwise.
- Place the okra in a large bowl. Add the coconut oil and berbere and stir to coat the okra halves.
- Place the okra on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, shaking or stirring at least twice during the roasting time.
- Once the okra is golden brown and crispy, remove from the oven and add back to the mixing bowl.
- Add the tomatoes, parsley, lemon juice, red onions, and a little of the tahini and mix well. Season with salt to taste, and more tahini as desired.
Adrian Forte is a chef and culinary consultant for a wide range of clients and brands, and operates YAWD, a modern Caribbean pop-up restaurant (which garnered incredible reviews for the much-needed island vibes it brought to Toronto during the pandemic). Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Adrian moved to New York City in 2003, where he attended high school, and then to Canada, where he studied culinary arts at George Brown College in Toronto. Upon graduating, he became the executive chef at Gangster Burger and Rock Lobster, one of the co-founders of Dirty Bird Chicken & Waffles, owner of AF1 Caribbean, behind the menu development of Aunty Lucy’s Burgers and guest chef at Café Boulud at the Four Seasons. Adrian uses his platform to champion the importance of Afro-Caribbean cuisine, and has been an integral voice in Canadian hospitality’s movement toward a more equal and inclusive future.
Excerpted from Yawd by Adrian Forte. Copyright © 2022 Adrian Forte. Photography by John Molina. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.