Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Sunday, August 9, 2015

What to do with okra?

I am happily growing red burgundy okra from Pinetree Garden Seeds (red okra) and I am delighted with it.  It is an attractive plant, with red-veined leaves and red pods.  Here it is growing in a pot, it is so ornamental:

It seems to be fairly easy to grow, given enough sun and space.  The pods stay tender 
even when they get a little larger than typical.  So, how to cook it?  Okra is a star in soups 
and stews, as it acts as a natural thickener.  People sometimes complain about fried okra, 
which can get a bit...er...slimy, but it is great in tomato-based dishes.

So, I sautéed garden onions (1 large, diced), garlic (2 cloves, sliced), some quartered mushrooms
(1cup), and bell peppers (1, in chunks) in olive oil (2 T).  Then I  added chopped fresh basil and 
rosemary,  some dried marjoram, the okra (2 cups, sliced into 1 inch pieces) and a quart of crushed 
tomatoes.  I let it simmer for a half hour, then served it over polenta.  Salt and pepper to taste.  
Total yum!

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