I grew up in the south, so okra is nothing foreign to me. I like it, in fact. But I can sympathize with the people who don’t. Okra has a strange, mucilanginous quality to it that causes some folks to be grossed out. Used to its glory, okra is a star in gumbo (traditional and vegetarian) and it’s really good breaded and fried.
But honestly, who likes to fry things at home? I don’t really–and it’s not a matter of health. It’s a matter of cleanliness. I don’t like all that fat floating around in the air. It makes my house smell a little too much like dinner and I have to wipe down the doors of the cabinets.
So, if you want to like okra and avoid the texture of it and fat floating around in the air of your house, I’d say you should pickle it. Pickled okra, especially this recipe, is tremendously good. And if you don’t can it, just refrigerate it, the okra will retain all of its vitamins and minerals, of which there are many including carotene and Vitamin A.
This recipe is from my dilapidated copy of Greene on Greens and Grains.
Snappy Pickled Okra
1/2 lb. tender young okra, stems lightly trimmed (You can eat the tips of the stems in pickled okra.)
2 hot gtreen peppers
2 cloves garlic
2 C. distilled white vinegar
1/4 C. water
1/4 C. kosher salt
1 t. celery seed
1 t. mustard seed, yellow or brown
Wash the okra and pack it into two sterilized pint jars. (Wide mouth jars work the best.) Add 1 hot pepper and 1 clove garlic to each jar. Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat to boiling; remove from heat. Pour this over the okra in the jars. Seal. Let stand 2 weeks, turning occasionally. Chill well before serving.
If you choose not to seal the jars, just put them in the refrigerator. Pickled okra will keep indefinitely if it’s all covered up by the vinegar.