Saturday, August 28, 2010
Okra: Take it outside
If only they had been as tasty as they were beautiful, I'd really have a reason to talk even those who claim to hate okra to try it grilled. Unfortunately, while these specimens were an eyeful, they also were -- like Norma Desmond after the advent of talkies -- a mere spectre of what they were at summer's peak. While the discovery didn't lead to anything so tragic as a body in the swimming pool (we don't have one), it was a clear a signal that the days of perfect summer produce are drawing to a sad close.
I've since heard similar concerns from home gardeners, and Tim got the word this morning from some of his favorite farmer's market vendors. The vagaries of this summer's extended heat, humidity and intermittent rain have taken their toll on what normally would be still-bountiful garden beds.
2 pint containers of fresh okra (about 1 lb.)
2 tbsp. olive oil
coarse salt, fresh cracked pepper
10-12 wood skewers, soaked in water
Rinse and pat dry okra; place whole in ziptop bag. Add olive oil, salt and pepper. Seal bag, pressing out air, and roll in hands to evenly coat pods. Set on counter at least 10 minutes or until you're ready to start grilling.
After dinner, call your mother and demand to know why you were never served okra as a child. If you don't like the stem ends, your dog likely will. Just remember, okra provides a high fiber experience.
We usually use the gas grill, but this really is best over charcoal. It can be cooked on an indoor grill pan but, unless the weather is awful, there's really no excuse for not taking it outside.