Saturday, January 21, 2012

Who Knew? Part 2 Okra

Other People's Gardens----------WHO KNEW!!!!!!!!! 
Patricia Beynan     Philadelphia Master Gardener 

As the gardens grew I saw tall green plants that were unknown to me.  They were growing to over five feet, waving in the breeze, and looking suspiciously like marijuana plants.  But nobody would dare grow that, would they?   Then they started to flower, and make pods. I finally figured out it was okra, known to me only from crossword puzzles. Used in gumbo, I think.  I asked the grower what she did with it and she told me it's part of her usual repertoire in soups and stews, and would occupy a corner of her freezer.  She pickled some, and even used the fresh leaves as a soup thickener.  Who knew?

New to Okra, try the recipe below.

Peppery Grilled Okra With Lemon-Basil Dipping Sauce
Prep: 15 min., Chill: 24 hr., Grill: 6 min., Cool: 5 min.
Peppery Grilled Okra With Lemon-Basil Dipping SaucePhoto by: Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Harget
  • YIELD: Makes 8 servings
  • COURSE: Side Dishes/Vegetables


  • Cheesecloth or coffee filter
  • 1 (32-oz.) container plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 2 pounds fresh okra, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Garnish: freshly ground pepper


1. Line a wire-mesh strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth or 1 (12-cup) coffee filter. Place strainer over a bowl. Spoon yogurt into strainer. Cover and chill 24 hours. Remove yogurt, discarding strained liquid.
2. Preheat grill to 400° to 450° (high) heat. Combine strained yogurt, basil, next 3 ingredients, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
3. Toss together okra, olive oil, and remaining 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper in a large bowl.
4. Grill okra, covered with grill lid, over 400° to 450° (high) heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until tender. Cool 5 minutes.
5. Transfer okra to a serving dish, and serve with dipping sauce. Garnish, if desired.
Southern Living JULY 2009

1 comment:

  1. The plants sound spectacular! Maybe I need to consider them more carefully