Ain't nothing quite as Southern as Okra but growing up as a Southern girl eating plenty of good ol' Southern cookin' and even spending many summers on my Granddaddy's farm ... I refused to try Okra ... no matter how it was cooked: Fried, Stewed with Tomatoes, Tossed into a Gumbo or Brunswick Stew and most definitely NEVER boiled ... eeeew that slimy looking mess ... no way it was going near my mouth. AND then after once trying to help pick fresh Okra outta the field and having to wear gloves to do it cause the plants have these sticky things that sting and cut your fingers ... I swore I would never eat this stuff ... "if you have to wear gloves to pick it, it's not supposed to be eaten" I said. LOL
But flash forward to my 30's ... yep it wasn't until I was in my 30's that I let Okra near my mouth. How that came about was at the time I was working for THE BEST BOSS EVER and he would bring me a plate at lunch (he had a cook that prepared lunch for him) and when it would have Fried Okra on it, I'd turn my nose up at it, wouldn't touch it. A Co-Worker said "Girl I'll eat it if you won't" and then proceeded to convince me to at least give it a try "it tastes sorta like popcorn, only better". Well me loving popcorn ... that was the magic word ... I tried it and my love affair with Fried Okra began. Thanks Kel!! From then on I loved Okra anyway I had it except boiled LOL AND to this day, anytime I'm in a restaurant that serves Fried Okra, I have got to try theirs ... course not everybody knows how to cook it, I've learned.
Okay now about this recipe ...ya'll it is the BEST way I have ever had Okra believeyoume ...definitely a way better tasting (and healthwise) way to eat it instead of fried. Ya'll have got to give this recipe a try! AND best yet ... its easy easy easy!!!
Oven Roasted Okra
1 lb Fresh Okra (you could probably use frozen too)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Wash the Okra and dry good with a paper towel. Now, I sliced some of mine and left some of the baby sized ones intact so it doesn't really matter if you slice it or leave it whole.
Place Okra in a bowl and toss with enough EVOO to cover it good (just til it glistens) ... don't over do it cause you don't want it to turn out mushy ... and Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste. I actually did taste mine raw to make sure I had enough Sea Salt on it ... and dang if it wasn't good raw too!
*The recipe I sorta followed called for a Tablespoon, I do not think I used that much but I really wasn't measuring ... just do not over do it ... you do not want it sitting in oil!!!
Spread Okra onto a baking sheet (even a baking stone would work ...probably make it turn out crispier) in a single layer and cook for 15 minutes BUT every 5 mins take it out shake the Okra around and put it back in. Now your oven make take a bit longer ... you know how ovens can vary!
Ya'll this is so good I could eat it for a snack! And a healthy snack it would make too!!!!
I'll say it again ... better than fried ... ya'll will thank me for sharing this recipe, I promise you that!!!