Friday, September 24, 2010

Non-fried okra

So the other night I dreamed that I forgot to pick up my co-op share. I literally woke up panicked that I overslept and missed my pick-up time. I was able to reassure myself that it was only Thursday and about 4 a.m., so I have not missed my chance to get my share. But it further proved how important this co-op has become to me if I'm having nightmares about it.

Though this post is about something I haven't gotten in my share: Okra.

A friend told me she was surprised okra passed my pickiness test, and I will note that my quantifier was that it had to be fried. But I was born and raised in the Deep South, and okra is a staple there. I also think the fact that I could douse it in ketchup helped the situation.

But this week I proved that okra doesn't even have to be fried for me to like it. I picked some okra up at the city market on Saturday and tried a couple of different recipes and didn't fry any of it or even make this semi-fried recipe. In fact, I think my favorite way to eat okra now is sauteed in some vegetable oil with sea salt for just a few minutes so it is still crunchy.

Here are the two recipes I tried:

Pan-Roasted Corn and Okra

  • 6 ears of corn, shucked (I used one ear)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for brushing (adjusted this accordingly)
  • 2 pounds okra, trimmed and halved lengthwise (I used much less, of course)
  • Sea salt 
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn just until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and cool under running water. Pat the corn dry and, working over a bowl, cut the kernels from the cobs.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle until very hot and brush lightly with oil. In a bowl, toss the okra with 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and season with salt. Cook the okra in batches over high heat, turning once, until charred and tender, 3 minutes per batch. Transfer the okra to a platter.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the corn kernels, season with salt and toss to coat. Add the corn to the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred in spots, about 3 minutes. Add the corn to the okra and toss. Serve hot or at room temperature.  
This is one of those very obvious recipes, and I ended up using my toaster oven for this one.
    •    18 fresh okra pods, sliced 1/3 inch thick
    •    1 tablespoon olive oil
    •    2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
    •    2 teaspoons black pepper, or to taste
    Preheat an oven to 425 degrees.
    Arrange the okra slices in one layer on a foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes.


  1. I was literally just getting ready to ask if you have a good recipe for okra. You anticipated my needs! Now that is what I call service. :) I am looking forward to trying your suggestions, as I have not been a fan of okra in the past (although I admit I haven't tried it often). I did try one uncooked today, based on the Pioneer Woman's recommendation, but I found them very hard to bite into. Maybe they weren't ripe...I don't know.