Recipe of the Week: Roasted Okra

Thanksgiving got in the way of this post for the last 2 weeks but hoping to get this back on track….maybe you’ll even get an extra ROTW this week! Yay!!

Ok…now to the goodies…literally.

I am a true Southern girl through and through. Aside from the fact that I ought to have my SG card revoked for hating sweet tea, I adore all other things Southern. I love the traditions, I love the front porches, I love the hospitality, I love the weather, and most importantly…I love am obsessed with Southern food.

Cornbread…hoppin’ john…fried green tomatoes…chow chow…limas…mac & cheese…black-eyed peas…country ham…the list goes on and on.

If there is one staple that I can absolutely not live without, it’s okra. Yes, okra. And yes I adore it in EVERY way….fried okra, stewed okra, pickled okra, slimy okra, raw okra…(I sound like Bubba Gump)…but my most favorite of all is roasted okra.

O(kra)MG!!!

I make it all the time…I actually try to make it at least once a week if I can find it.

Roasting any vegetable is amazing. I swear. If you haven’t tried roasting different veggies…you need to. It will change your life. Seriously.

Roasted okra is incredible and if you’ve never had it before….stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and go to the store. I promise you’ll be in love!

The taste of it is tough to describe…not because it’s weird…but because it’s so complex. It’s like the deliciousness of fried (without the mess and the oil and the breading) with a hint of caramelized, charred sweetness and the crisp freshness of a green vegetable. So freaking good.

It could not be easier…and could not be more wonderful! So do your Southern food lovin’ heart a favor and roast some okra for yourself!! Once you go roasted…you’ll never go back!

Roasted Okra Ingredients:

 1 lb. fresh okra, cleaned

2.5 tbsp olive oil

Sea Salt & Pepper to taste

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1)   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2)   Cut the tops off your okra and split in half. (If they are really small…like pinky-size I typically leave them whole.)

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3)   Put cut okra in a large bowl and add 2.5 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix with a large spoon and place in single layer on baking sheet.

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4)   Roast for 20-30 minutes depending on how charred you like them.  (I typically move them around about halfway through to ensure they get browned on all sides.)

5)   Remove from oven and dive in!!

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That’s it…it’s seriously that simple. And if you don’t like okra (heathen)…you can use this same roasting process for a gazillion other vegetables. You’ll never eat anything boiled ever again if you try this method! I guarantee!!

A few tips and tricks…

–      I used a pound of okra for 2 people. The amount you use depends on how much your eaters love vegetables. I could seriously eat a pound or more by myself but for the sake of those around you that share your airspace, I don’t recommend it! 🙂

–       To clean the okra, I wet a paper towel and wipe them down like I do a mushroom. I’m sure rinsing in a colander works, but doesn’t seem as effective to me and just waterlogs them.

–       I always use fresh okra because it’s relatively easy and inexpensive to find here at farmers markets. I have tried this once with frozen, whole okra and it tasted so-so. Definitely didn’t caramelize the same way the fresh okra does.

–       You can use whatever type of oil you prefer…I like the taste of the olive oil especially since I’m not cooking it on a super high temperature. Feel free to experiment with whatever works best for you…coconut oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, etc.

–       Why do I mix in a bowl instead of directly on the baking sheet? Well…I used to. To save myself an extra thing to wash I used to skip the bowl but found I was using 2-3 times (and sometimes more) oil than I actually needed. Mixing in the bowl first allows you to get everything evenly coated and allows you to control the amount of oil you’re using.

–       You don’t have to cook this on 350 degrees to make it work. I’ve done it on 415…I’ve done it on 375….anything technically will work, especially if you’ve got other things in the oven that don’t cook at 350. Just make sure you watch the food to prevent it from incinerating. As little as the sweet little stalks become when they’re cooking, it’s really easy to look away and ruin the entire thing.

Would I Change Anything? Only to have more of it! P.S. The cold leftovers are delicious too! (Ok…I am officially weird.)

Would I Make It Again? Every night if I had an unlimited supply of okra. This is 100% my green vegetable go-to.

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I hope you’ll try this out! Let me know how it goes!!

Live Love Eat

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