Friday, August 20, 2010

Wednesday [Friday] Workday

Finally! A successful crop!

I've complained all summer about how hot and dry it has been and what havoc that has wreaked on my garden, so that I am almost hesitant to tell you about my big success - okra!

If you are not southern, you may not know much about okra. It's a strange looking veggie with a distinctive taste, that lots of folks never get a chance to eat. Good file' gumbo from New Orleans includes it, and extra good Brunswick stew. You can get it battered and deep fried at Cracker Barrel and S & W Cafeteria, but it's not the first thing that jumps to mind when someone says, 'Hey, what green veggie would you like for dinner tonight?"

Even if you are southern, you may have grown up [not] eating it in the elementary school cafeteria where they cooked it to slime. Not appetizing!

So, how did I come to grow it and to actually like it? Well, batter and deep fry anything and I'm your girl! We always buy some at a farm stand in the summer and fry it, but in May someone - I don't even remember who - gave me their leftover starter plants. About 12 of them. I plunked them in the ground, watered regularly and then came the heat and humidity. Voila! Okra loves it.

First thing I knew I was cutting a dozen pods a night and having more than I could possibly eat alone. You know how hard it is to give away your extra zucchini? Well, triple that. Clearly, we needed another way to eat it. So, I fell back on the southern tradition of okra and tomatoes, and after experimenting a couple of nights, I found the right combination. So, if you're game to try something new (and can find some fresh okra at a farmer's market), here's what you do.

Okra and Tomatoes

2 cups okra - cut in coins
1-2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 - 1 cup chopped onion
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped green (or red) onions
1 Tablespoon of Canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste.

Saute' the onion and pepper in the oil until a little soft. Add the okra and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and saute another 5 minutes. Then cover, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer 10 - 15 minutes. Season to taste. (Serves four.)

As Flower Jane would say, "easy peasy"! If you really overcook the okra, it will become slimy. Promise! But 20 - 30 minutes total cooking time works fine. You can fine tune the onion and peppers to taste, and you may find that you like the okra a little firmer or a little softer so you can increase or decrease the total cooking time accordingly. Try it. You'll like it!


  1. Reporting in from England... Fried okra, yum. Slimy okra, yuk. But I will try this when I find some okra. It looks and sounds delish.

    We brought no tea. Long history of tea party troubles with the Brits, no?

    Thanks for the link :) Too bad I'm lamenting the end of the world.

  2. Interesting looking plant, and vegetable. Being far from the south, I have never eaten okra, but your sautee with tomatoes and onions looks yum!

  3. No Webb, Just kidding. Still in the Commonwealth.

    I do fly thought, just use meds. Everyone else on the plane is happier if I don't want to get off over Iceland :).

  4. You know...I don't think I have ever tried have peaked my curiosity now... You are so lucky you have a green thumb and an obvious good one at that!!

    Jeanne :)

    Thanks for your comment, always lovely to hear from you!

  5. Jane - well, I truly believed you! Was proud of your overcoming your plane thing! I'll just drink some Earl Grey and pretend I'm there, too.

    Anneke and Jeanne - wish I could send you some fresh - it's like zucchini you get waaaay too much! - but I think it would not keep for travel. But it IS a pretty dish!

  6. Looks yummy! My goal next spring is to plant a vegetable garden. Had never thought of planting okra!

  7. I never really wanted to try okra, but you do make it look tempting.

  8. This is the second post in one day that I've read on the subject of okra. It is killing me to see your harvest because I planted some this year that is doing nothing! I've only had it once before and I planted it this year because I wanted to eat some okra but so far I have nothing to show for it.

    I'll just sit over here in the corner drooling, OK?

  9. OH I love okra! I usually throw the frozen variety in my vegetable stew that goes in the crockpot or in my gumbo. Having grown up only borderline Southern, I'm not even sure how I came to know about it. But I certainly know about fried okra!! Thank you for posting this recipe - I've been on Weight Watchers for about a week and am finding it hard to find veggies with less than 3 points to fill my plate. I'm sure this will fall within that goal! And I know a place to find them, too! Although, if I were there, I would certainly take some off of your hands.

    Speaking of which (and I can't reply back to your comments because you have your email turned off) but we will be moving to Ft. Lee sometime at the end of 2012. We have a 400 day deployment to get through with him in Iraq and then about 6 months after he gets home, we will start looking for our next duty station to move all of our stuff to while we're at Ft. Lee for 6 months. But in answer to your question, I would LOVE to have a tour guide!! Especially for the vineyards! ;)

  10. Oh, we know okra, more or less, lol. It's really good deep-fried, but then again what isn't?