I love okra. I love it fried best. (Well, I do.) I love it stewed with tomatoes and onions. I love it in vegetable soup. Now I have a new way to cook it. This okra went into the oven less than an hour after it was cut in our garden. There wasn't much at this first cutting, but the harvest will increase in the next few days. I'll get to try it any way I want.
I don't know how common okra is in other parts of the country. Here, it is a normal part of our summer menus. When I was growing up, it was always fried at our house. (Fried at home, it was not heavily breaded and deep fried like you get in restaurants.) When you fry okra, it shrinks. A lot. So when you start with a giant pan full, you don't have so much when it's done. We never got much on our plates when we divided the panful.
When I fresh out of college, I got my first job as a home economist in the lower part of our state. A man selling fresh vegetables stopped by our office a couple of times a week. One day I bought 2 pounds and went home and cooked it all. And nearly ate it all. It was the first time I'd had all the okra I wanted. I was single and didn't have to share one bite!
Roasting it was the quickest way to prepare it I could think of. I know you can roast it without splitting it lengthwise. But splitting it, made it look like I had more than I did. And it made a great photo!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (can also use canola)
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper (or *House Seasoning)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Discard any hard pods. Cut off tops of okra. Slice the okra in half lengthwise. Arrange on a baking sheet and drizzle with the oil. (I used my hands to make sure the okra was evenly coated with oil.) Season with salt and pepper.
Roast for 10 minutes. Flip and roast 10 more minutes.
*House Seasoning: 1 cup salt, 1/4 cup black pepper, 1/4 cup garlic powder. Mix together and store in airtight container.
For those of you who told me that you did not know the song "Make Me A Servant" mentioned in Sunday's post, here is a link to listen to it.