Sift all of the dry ingredients together. Whisk in the buttermilk and use batter immediately. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat (do not let oil smoke), heat enough oil to submerge okra. Dip okra in batter one at a time, leaving tops exposed, and coat well. Drop into preheated oil and cook for 30-40 seconds, until pale brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately alongside a creamy herb or remoulade dipping sauce. Cook’s Note This is a versatile batter delicious with most any garden fresh veggie. Try it with zucchini, squash, or eggplant, each sliced no more than a half-inch thick to ensure the vegetable cooks all the way through.
Photograph by Christopher Shane