Somewhere in the mid 1960’s if I remember clearly, there was a trend in European countries to experience Holidays outside of the country you lived in.
A trend that gained popularity at a very high pace in the northern parts of Europe where people were desperate for some sunshine after months of grey, rainy autumn and winter weather that made whole societies all of a sudden depressed. A feat that never happened before, but the sixties were the years of soul searching and we all discovered our inner selves and depression was declared a climate related syndrome.
Psychiatrist and other soul searchers jumped on the band wagon and described holidays to destinations with more sunshine and happier people. The whole thing became so popular that in some countries social security paid for these trips in order to prepare beneficiaries better for the job market.
Flocks of depressives booked trips in early spring to the south of France, the Spanish resort cities of Marbella, Tenerife and parts of other southern European countries, just to taint themselves in preparation for a summer back home with hopefully some sunshine that would make all the effort of getting tainted worthwhile.
Those who could not afford the treat, or had the means but not the time, bought an artificial sun, or how do you call these things, and spend a couple of hours a day getting ‘brown’.
I remember they looked as artificial as the fake sun, inviting raised eyebrows at their respective working places. But Western Europe is a free democratic place to live and you can have the appearance you desire, brown, white, tainted or burned for those who fell asleep under the browning machine and forgot it had a timer.
Altogether I believe the whole affair made loads of people happy and I believe happy people make this world a better place, so no qualms.
Many of these travellers brought food ideas back from the happy countries they went to holiday and all sorts of foreign food started to travel over Europe.
I remember the first time I saw ladyfingers at the green grocers, the shop owner told me that they were imported from Morocco and called ‘Okra’s’.
Those days nobody ever heard of food miles, where food travels too far which is bad for the environment and other issues we now blame for excessive chemicals on our food to keep it in good condition. What came from far was good, simple as that.
The first time I tried these angled beans I boiled them, that’s what you did with vegetables. They turned out quite slimy and didn’t seem to fit in the ‘what comes from far is good’ category.
Only many years later I heard about the health benefits of ladyfingers and also that frying stopped them from becoming slimy.
In this warm salad, fried ladyfingers are combined with baby corn, another vegetable that is delicious when fried and crunchy.
The beansprouts, peanuts and toasted coconut complete this dish that makes a delightful lunch salad.
Roasted Lady Fingers, Baby Corn and Coconut
Prep-time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 5 min. Total time: 10 min. Calories: 211.1
Lady Fingers or Okra’s tend to get somewhat slimy when cooked and may therefore not be your favorite vegetable. In this recipe the lady fingers are fried which prevents them from becoming slimy.
Lady fingers are a very healthy vegetable and when cooked the right way delicious as well, they are a rich source of dietary fibers and may, as some suggest, help in the prevention and cure of diabetes when cut and soaked overnight in water and the juice is consumed the next morning.
This is a great lunch recipe.
Ingredients Serves 4
- 20 lady fingers (stems removed)
- 16 fresh baby corn
- 4 oz bean sprouts
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- ½ red chili (finely sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (roasted)
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped mint leaves
- 2 oz raw peanuts (roasted)
- Sea salt, pepper
Prepare all ingredients
- Heat a frying pan to medium heat with the olive oil, leave the lady fingers whole or cut them in half or in three parts depending on their size.
- Add the lady fingers to the frying pan and fry for three minutes, stirring them around, remove from the pan and keep aside.
Add the baby corn, garlic and chili. Fry for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan
Add the beansprouts to the pan. Stir them around for a few seconds; they need little to no time.
To finish the dish
Arrange the lady fingers on individual plates, surround with the baby corn and top with the beansprouts, coconut and lastly some peanuts for crunch. .
Note: To roast the coconut and the peanuts
- Pre-heat an oven to 160 C (325 F). Spread the grated coconut on a baking tray and place in the center of the oven. Keep an eye on it as it takes only a few minutes for the coconut to brown, the sides will brown first, so mix it around when that happens.
- Toast the raw peanuts the same way or deep fry them, which should be done on rather low heat to avoid burning
Nutritional values are manually calculated and based on the ingredients specified.
Nutritional value per serving: Calories: 211.1 Fat: 5.5 g. Saturated Fat: 0.5 g. Sodium: 24.0 mg. Carbohydrate 33.2 g. Protein: 6.6 g. Dietary fiber: 4.8 g.