Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Okra Overload

The okra just keeps coming. The grass in our yard, the hay in the fields, our shrubbery, our flowers—all burned up. No rain here. But the okra? Daddy-O cuts it nearly every day. He was away yesterday for most of the day working to get the show barn ready for the livestock show that happens this weekend.

I thought it might be a good time to try a recipe that I had tucked away several weeks ago. I had everything here to make it. There are still tomatoes in our garden, too.

Interesting story...our church has a vegetable garden. Yes, our church that sits right on Main Street. Some members tend it and the produce grown goes to the food pantry so that those needing food assistance can have fresh vegetables. A friend told me last week that they were having trouble giving the tomatoes away. The tops had split on many of them and the people didn't want them. I suppose they don't look like the sturdy tomatoes from the grocery store—the ones that have been shipped across the country.

Well, weather does things to tomatoes. Too much water. Not enough water. Excessive heat. And sometimes they will split around the stem. Like the one I used in this recipe. It was a large tomato that had split at the top. I lopped off the top and went right on cooking. We can't fault people who don't know that's all you need to do.  But I'm not sure how we educate them.


3 to 4 cups fresh okra, sliced
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt to taste
few grinds of fresh black pepper

Heat oil in heavy skillet. Add chopped onion and saute until onion is almost translucent and soft. Add garlic and saute a few minutes more.
Add okra and tomato and saute until okra is tender, yet firm, with a little color.
Season with salt and pepper.

Serve over rice, quinoa, or enjoy it all by itself.

I did have this by itself for lunch. If Daddy-O had been here, this would have been a side dish to something. I don't think I could pass this single dish off as "lunch" to him. As I ate it, I kept thinking of all the things I could add. Fresh corn, black beans, maybe a little cheese sprinkled over the top. I would love it over rice.

I'll be honest. I will forever like okra fried best. (Home fried is better than the restaurant kind.) Roasted okra is a close second and much easier to make. But we have so much okra, I'm trying other recipes, too. This is good. I ate over half of it for lunch. I would put this recipe in the the "like it" category instead of "love it."  I have made stewed okra and tomatoes before. This is similar but not as soupy or as spicy. I usually put a bay leaf in my stewed okra.

I'll keep this recipe for another summer when we are in okra overload. But the next batch will be roasted again. Maybe before the harvest ends, I'll even fry one more pan full. Daddy-O can only hope.

UPDATE: We had rain last night. Over an inch! Still need much more, but we are thankful for this amount.


  1. You and me being home ec majors...oh how we could teach the people visiting food banks how to stretch their dollar, increase their nutrition and impress upon them the value of balaced diet. I offered free classes to a food bank and to a teenage parenting school--both turned me down.

    1. It is so hard to change people's food habits/patterns. Most people like what they like. My first job with Extension was teaching a low-income food and nutrition program. I'm sure I learned more than they did.


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