Do you know what Okra is? I have found, here is California, most are not familiar with this vegetable. When I started asking friends if they had okra, responses I heard were: “it’s something fried, right?”, “it’s slimy, isn’t it?” and “it’s something you find in the south”.
Those comments are true about okra as it is definitely found in the south, I have only had it fried in the south and because it was fried it did not have that slimy texture consistency. What’s missing in my friends comments is that it is a sweet vegetable, high in fiber and when roasted the slime disappears leaving an unbelievable side dish.
Here in California we don’t generally find okra in our markets, I had to call around to the locally and speak to the produce managers, most were open to purchasing it for me. I ended up purchasing my fresh okra from my local Sprouts (for roasting do not use canned or frozen) so I ran out and made my purchase.
With regards to the slim, there is a slim to the vegetable, even when it’s raw, when I began to cut off the stems, it left a slim residue on my knife, this was not going to stop me from roasting them. You do not need to rinse that slime off and do not try to remove the seeds. When you roast the okra, the slim will vanish and the seeds are delicious!
Here is what fresh okra looks like with the stems
To roast, slice off the tops, here is what the inside of okra looks like, again, do not rinse or do not remove the seeds
Place on a baking sheet, season with oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder
Roast for 20 minutes, toss and continue until they are a little chard on the outside
For those who have never tried okra, you are missing out! I served these as a side dish to a creamy chicken recipe and with the leftovers, I cut them up and added them to my quinoa dish. I had a friend over and he went crazy over it as he had never imagined roasting them to make such a difference. If you are looking for a recipe that is a little different, sweet and just delicious, try this recipe for roasting them and let me know what you think!
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Thank you again ~ Patty Limatola-Tanenbaum