Grilled Okra-and-Tomato Salad

Purple okra and purple tomatoes makes for one colorful salad.

Grilled Okra-and-Tomato Salad
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
35 mins

This summer, we're eating by color. Our Grilled Okra-and-Tomato Salad uses some of the season's best purple produce—purple tomatoes and purple okra—to create a salad you won't soon forget.

Purple tomatoes star in this stunning seasonal side dish, which our Test Kitchen describes as, "a painting on a plate."

Purple probably isn't the first color that comes to mind when you think about heirloom tomatoes, but there are many delicious varieties, like Cherokee Purple and Black Cherry, that range from shades of plum to almost black.

Continuing with the color theme, this dish also features purple okra, Fairy Tale eggplants, sherry vinegar, purple basil, and shaved radishes. The eggplant, okra, and onion get tossed in an umami-rich garlic and anchovy butter, then grilled until tender. The tomatoes bring a fresh component to the salad, becoming particularly succulent when drizzled with the sherry-butter dressing. Purple basil and radishes are the final touches that really round out this salad full of unexpected flavors.

Serve this grilled summertime salad with a nice glass of red wine.


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves, grated

  • 2 oil-packed anchovies, finely chopped

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 4 small Fairy Tale eggplants, halved lengthwise or 1 small Globe eggplant, sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds

  • 6 ounces purple okra, halved lengthwise

  • 1 small red onion, cut into ½-inch wedges

  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

  • 2 pounds purple or black tomatoes (such as Cherokee Purple, Kumato, or Black Cherry), cut into wedges or halved

  • Purple basil and shaved radishes (such as Watermelon or Purple Ninja)


  1. Cook butter, oil, garlic, anchovies, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper in a saucepan over medium-low, stirring often, until butter is melted and anchovies have mostly dissolved, 4 to 6 minutes. Set butter mixture aside.

  2. Preheat a grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Toss eggplant, okra, onion, 2 tablespoons butter mixture, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper in a large bowl. Place seasoned vegetables on oiled grates. Grill, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and tender, 3 to 5 minutes for okra, 8 to 12 minutes for eggplant, and 14 to 18 minutes for onions.

  3. If remaining butter mixture has solidified, reheat in a small saucepan over low, stirring often, until melted. Remove from heat; whisk in sherry vinegar. Arrange tomatoes, eggplant, okra, and onions on a serving platter. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Drizzle with butter mixture. Garnish with purple basil and radishes.

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