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Garden Salad With Fried Okra Croutons

By Paula Deen


Difficulty: Easy

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 10


  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 juiced, plus 1 teaspoon zest lemon
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups cut into 1/2-inch pieces okra
  • to coat buttermilk
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • to coat flour
  • for frying vegetable oil
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 sliced yellow bell pepper
  • thinly sliced Vidalia onion


For the balsamic dressing: In a small bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, mustard, zest, garlic and lemon juice. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

For the fried okra: Add okra pieces to a medium bowl. Drizzle just enough buttermilk to coat the okra and toss together. Season with salt and pepper. To a separate bowl, add flour. Drain the okra and add to the flour bowl, toss the okra to coat each piece with flour. Shake off any excess flour. Fry at 350 °F until golden brown, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to paper-towel lined plate to drain.

For the salad: In a large bowl, combine the baby spinach, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers and onions. Toss with the balsamic dressing and top with the fried okra croutons.