In case you haven’t already guessed, I am a native Texan. Born and raised. However, my parents are not. My mother spent most of her childhood in Washington, Montana, and Colorado, and my father grew up in the Denver area. No offense to them, but they have never truly understood the delight of certain southern and Texan foods. Biscuits and gravy? Dr. Pepper? Grits? Blackeyed peas? All foods I have grown to adore, but to my parents? These are strange foods that are, let’s say, just not among their favorites. Another food of controversy is okra, which I happen to love.
Most okra around here is served battered and deep-fried. Coming from a part of the country that deep-fries everything, including Coke, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and ice cream, that’s not much of a surprise. Not that I’m knocking fried okra. Believe me, I could eat bucketloads of this stuff. But when I pick up some fresh, whole okra pods from the farmer’s market, they usually beg for me to enjoy them in a simpler, (also healthier) way. A quick sauté in olive oil, garlic, and jalapeños produces crisp-tender okra pods that are bursting with flavor. The best part, in my opinion, is that preparing the okra in this manner allows the okra to cook without becoming slimy and mushy. (Both not positive attributes, unless you’re preparing a gumbo.) It also takes just a few minutes to prepare, making it an excellent last-minute side dish.
So excellent, in fact, you might be able to convert some non-okra-lovers!
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeño, sliced
1 lb fresh okra pods, rinsed and stems trimmed
Salt and pepper
Heat a large frying pan to medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat, only for a minute. Add garlic and sauté for a minute, and add jalapeños. Sauté for another minute or two, and add okra pods. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until okra pods are tender enough to pierce with a fork. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Serves 4, unless you really, really love okra, (like I do) and then it might serve 2.
Don’t forget! You only have until June 27, 2009 to enter your comments for your chance to win in my giveaway! Check it out!