Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Roasted Okra

Most Southerners I know have had plenty of okra over the course of their lives - they may not like it, but they've seen lots of it served. (As with grits.)  Most commonly, I encounter fried okra.  Sometimes it's a full batter coating, sometimes just a dusting of cornmeal, but usually fried.  If you've never had fried okra, you're missing out on a delicious slice of summer. Okra is also commonly found in gumbo, vegetable soup, and various stewed tomato plus onion and okra dishes.  All delicious as well.

While I do love me some fried okra, it's not healthy and it stinks up the house.  In searching for oven fried okra recipes, I stumbled across a handful of roasted okra recipes.  The reviews were fantastic, and I was sold.  We were not disappointed - the roasting brings out a lot of the okra-y flavor (I cannot think of another way to describe it).  It might be my new favorite preparation of this fabulous Southern veggie.  Another plus - it's easy and quick.  I didn't have to chop a thing and it took me all of 2 minutes to get it ready to put in the oven.

Roasted Okra
adapted from various sources

1 lb okra (you can either leave the pods whole or slice it into pieces)
2 - 3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
other spices/herbs, to taste (I used garlic and onion powders)
juice of one lemon

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Toss all ingredients together until okra is evenly coated with olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and any other herbs/spices.  Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. 

(Note: I had some of mine too close together and I could tell that some of it steamed more than it roasted.  Make sure to leave space between pieces.)

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