Monday, October 4, 2010

love letters to okra

dear okra,
you are fly. you are green and crunchy too. no longer only on special occasions such as family reunions will we disrespect you; swathing you in thick, deep-fried batters until you get mushy, brown and slimy. we will eat your pentagonal pods raw. we will warm you in well seasoned broths that do you justice. we will not have you today and forget to enjoy you again for like, another year. we will eat you flash-frozen in winter, and again in spring and late summer, fresh from the ground. thanks for fiber, copper, potassium and protein too. you da bomb.



Autumnal Sauteed Okra
a small, sweet onion, rough chopped
a few stalks of celery and root, chunky chopped
a few pounds of firm, snappable okra pods, washed
a can of good quality sweet, roasted tomatoes, quartered and drained
two toes of garlic, minced
tiny pinch of cinnamon
a single bay leaf
cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
braggs raw unfiltered vinegar
course ground pepper
sea salt to taste

warm a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a stainless steel saute pan along with the bay leaf and minced garlic until fragrant
toss in the sweet onion & celery, softening just slightly
toss in roasted tomatoes
add the tiny pinch of cinnamon & plenty of course ground pepper

let everything mingle for a minute or two
chop the pods into nice sized pieces if you wish, although they're fine whole
toss them in and stir well
stir in vinegar and salt to taste
immediately remove from the heat so the okra stay fairly crunchy

Crunchy Raw Okra Salad
all the above ingredients, swapping canned tomatoes for a sweet raw variety and the bay leaf for fresh oregano
toss everything in a glass bowl, adding the salt and vinegar last
let the flavors meld in the fridge before serving

Whether you use these recipes or not, remember that low to no heat preparation and acidic ingredients like lemon, vinegar and tomatoes minimize the release of slime from the pods. You can also cook down the okra until the slime dissolves and use it to thicken soups and curries without flour or milk.
happy eating... PEACE!


Luqman said...

oh snap!! I needs me some Okra too! This blog is great!! from Grap to Okra, who would thunk it?

Jessica said...

I am making my rounds today and I saw this. Quite inspiring if I do say so myself. I need to step my Okra game up now. Thank you "all" for the reminders. I think its important to comment just to let folks know we are reading and watching.