Ever wonder what the heck to do with okra? I personally do not like the slimy stuff unless it’s well, you know, breaded and fried… With that not being an option I have just avoided the vegetable altogether until my friend at Norcal, Katie D. advised me how to make it and now I have a new found affection for the stuff – and I hope you will too! I recommend that you double or triple the recipe because my kids were eating them like popcorn and I almost did not get any at all!! We also made the yummiest stuffed eggplant that I highly recommend trying – take advantage of the summer veggies while you can because fall is just around the corner!!
Crispy Baked Okra
About 20 pieces of okra cut into bike sized pieces (makes about 3 cups after cut)
4 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Put the cut okra into a large mixing bowl, cover with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and mix well. Spread the okra evenly on a cookie sheet and bake in a 450 degree oven for 25 minutes. Be sure to stir half way through the cooking time for even crispiness. Eat immediately!
2-3 small eggplants ( I used 2 small Italian and 1 giant Japanese eggplant)
1 red bell pepper diced
1 small red onion diced
6 garlic cloves minced
5 tbsp olive oil
3/4 C julienned sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
1 ½ C chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Remove the green stems from the eggplants and cut in half lengthwise. Using a paring knife, gently cut out the insides of the eggplant, leaving a eggplant “shell”. Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil into the bottom of 9×13 glass baking dish and place the shells of the eggplant on top of the olive oil in the baking dish. Dice the insides of the eggplant that have been removed. In a large saute pan, add the 5 tbsp of olive oil, diced eggplant, bell peppers, and onions. Saute over medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Add the minced garlic, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for another minute. Pile the mixture into the eggplant shells and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the shells are tender.
We served grilled chicken with the eggplant and okra.