I remember growing up and going to those cafeterias with my family, that served the, Blue Plate Special, which included one meat, two veggies, bread and a drink. My family loved these deals, they were inexpensive and you got a good amount of food for the price. It was a great deal for a family of 5 and my dad and brother could eat, so they were in heaven.
My favorite thing was the veggie specials. You got all these yummy vegetables on your plate . I would fill my plate with collard greens, green beans and potatoes, sweet potato mash, corn and a big piece of cornbread. Well, here is my version of a veggie plate special.
The awesome thing about this version, it’s totally Farm to Table and still very inexpensive, but much fresher and a bit more creative. Hope you enjoy! Hey, let’s eat more veggies and support local farmers. As always, remember to Set the Table with Love.
Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise, then cut each half crisscrossed. Drizzle olive oil over them and sprinkle dried thyme and sea salt over each eggplant.
Roast in the preheated oven until softened and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
Charred Okra and Lemon
For the okra:
Trim the stems from the okra and cut each pod in half lengthwise. Place in a large bowl, add the salt, and toss to combine; set aside.
Heat a large, cast-iron skillet over high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Working in 2 to 3 batches so as not to crowd the pan, add the okra, cut-side down in a single layer, and sear undisturbed until charred on the bottom, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the okra and cook until crisp-tender, about 30 seconds more. Remove to a medium bowl.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the okra in the bowl. Recipe from Chowhound: Charred Okra
For the lemon:
Cut a medium lemon into slices . Add the lemon to the okra pan, allow to cook until caramelized, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and place in a separate bowl.
Sautéed North Georgia Candy Squash
Peel the squash. Cut it in half, right in the middle of the squash, where you have rings of the squash. Remove the seeds, cut the squash into 1/2 inch rings. In a large sautéed pan, add enough olive oil to cover the base of the pan, cook on medium heat. Add the rings, add salt and smoked paprika to the rings and allow to cook until golden brown on one side, 2-3 minutes, flip them over and sauté the other side, add salt and the smoked paprika and sauté into golden brown and tender.
Serve the veggies on a nice plate and even add a piece of Gluten Free cornbread
The best thing about this dish is you can use your imagination and come up with your own Veggie Plate Special of the Day.
Veggie Plate Special of the Day ~ Roasted Eggplant, Charred Okra, Lemons and Sautéed Northern Georgia Candy Squash.