Spotlight on: abelmoschus esculentus…okra!

A respect for food is a respect for life, for who we are and what we do.

–Thomas Keller, Owner and Executive Chef, The French Laundry

Welcome to another one of our spotlight posts, a collection of recipes exchanged and submitted from various community members!

Today, Sabrina Safran (co-host of Rider University’s go-green radio talk-show, Sustainable You [Saturday mornings at 10am, 107.7 The Bronc, WRRC] and her mom, Ms. Leonarda Safran shared their favorite way to use okra:

Recipe # 1

After you clean okra and cut off stem, slice it evenly across in little circles. It’ll be slimy, but that’s okay. Heat some olive oil (for about 2-3 minutes) on low flame (about 4 tablespoons) in a skillet with some chopped up fresh garlic (as much as you like, but 2 chopped up cloves should suffice).  Add the okra slices when oil is hot, let cook about 4 minutes and turn on other side, add soy sauce (about 3 tablespoons) and salt and pepper to taste.  Let it cook for another 5 minutes and then stir everything together for a few more minutes.  It shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes total to cook, saute and blend everything together. You can pour it over rice when done or eat as a side. You can sprinkle a little lemon on top for extra zing. It’s one of the best vegetables to eat.

Recipe # 2

Follow the same procedure for cleaning and cutting as above.  Get 2 small bowls – one should have 1 cup of flower and the other 1 beat up egg.  Heat vegetable oil in skillet (about half cup).  In the interim, dip okra first in flower and then in egg.  When oil gets hot, fry okra in it – about 4 minutes on each side or until batter is golden brown.  Place fried okra when done in flat dish layered with paper towels to absorb grease.  Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and a sprinkle of lemon to cut off grease.  Cracker Barrel has fried okra on their menu. It’s really good.

Sounds delicious, right? Don’t let the natural slimy texture keep you away- okra pods are a powerhouse in terms of nutritional value (vitamins A, C, K, not to mention folates and other minerals). Thanks for the recipes, guys!

We’ll continue to have okra for next few weeks, so make sure to come on over and get your stash!

–Jess

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