Okay with Okra


This from CSA Shareholder Jenny:

Just wanted to rave about the okra. I have never in my life bought or cooked fresh okra; I know it only as that slimy thing in gumbo. When I saw the pretty plants when I visited I thought “uh-oh, I bet this means we get it in our CSA!” And there it was this week. I am here to apologize to okra. I tossed it in a little olive oil and salt, and roasted it whole in the oven at 375 for about 25 minutes. Absolutely fantastic. I had no idea it was so flavorful. I ate the entire bunch in one day!

Jenny, it’s okay. Okra is just so glad to put the past behind you both and move forward into new worlds of deliciousness.

The C.O.B. Saute (Corn, Okra and Bacon)

4 slices bacon
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups of diced onions
3 cups okra, washed, trimmed, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 1/2 cups corn kernels, freshly cut from the cob

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove the bacon and reserve, leaving the rendered bacon fat in the skillet. Add the butter and onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Then add the okra and season well with salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Cook, stirring frequently, over moderate heat for 8 minutes or so until the okra is just becoming tender. Add the corn kernels and season. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the corn is tender, 3-4 minutes. Taste and correct seasoning if needed.
Serve immediately with the reserved bacon slices crumbled over.

Roasted okra with heirloom tomatoes, garlic and mint

1/2 pound okra
1/2 cup sliced red onion
2 cloves garlic, germ removed and thinly sliced
1 cup cherry or heirloom tomatoes, or a mixture of both (cherries can be halved or left whole, depending on their size; heirlooms should be cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces)
1/2 cup field peas or string beans (optional)
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Rinse the okra in cold water and drain well. Trim the stems from the okra tops, but don’t remove the caps. Slice the okra lengthwise and put in a mixing bowl. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, peas or beans and mint leaves. Drizzle the olive oil over and season well with salt and pepper. Toss to mix and transfer to a Silpat-lined baking sheet or oiled pan.
Roast in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, giving the vegetables a toss if needed.
Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

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