Let’s be honest: Okra is a tricky vegetable. My first accounts of okra growing up came from my mother who informed me that she never cooked okra because “it is the only food capable of being both hairy and slimy at the same time.” As such, I didn’t actually eat any okra until I had moved away from Minnesota.
Fast forward a bit … here we are at Tinicum CSA, and many of you fine members have asked us how to prepare okra. I am definitely not an expert on this topic, but today Meave and I tried out an excellent approach that was recommended by Tuesday member Daisy: Roasting.
I was keen to try roasting our okra because the concept is super-easy … and it turns out the result is delicious! This recipe came out tasty, salty, and satisfying — and with a totally manageable texture. It struck Meave and me as being a good bar-snack kind of flavor.
This particular recipe is adapted from a New York Times recipe by Martha Rose Shulman. If you’ve been scared of the okra so far, I’d encourage you to give this a shot.
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Rinse the okra, and drain on a kitchen towel. The okra should be dry. Trim away the stem ends (the whole cap) and the tips, just the very ends, and then place the okra in a large bowl. Salt to taste, and toss with the olive oil until coated.
2. Lift the okra from the bowl, leaving behind any excess oil. Place on a sheet pan in one layer. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes (large okra might take a little longer), shaking the pan every five minutes. The okra should be lightly browned and tender, with a nice seared aroma. If you don’t want it to brown as much, set the oven at 400 degrees.
3. Remove from the heat, toss with fresh thyme, if desired, and freshly ground pepper. Transfer to a platter. Serve hot.