GardenSMART :: Okra Sticks Are A Hit With Everyone
Okra Sticks Are A Hit With Everyone
By Tommy C. Simmons, an enthusiastic cook Photograph courtesy of Tommy C. Simmons
Our long, hot summer was perfect for growing okra. The pods are big, but still plenty moist on the inside. Instead of fixing smothered okra for family and guests, I’ve been slicing and roasting it to create okra sticks to serve.
Friends who admit they aren’t big okra fans like okra sticks. This is a simple recipe to throw together when you need a quick appetizer.
Okra sticks are easy to fix and can be reheated should you have leftovers – you won’t.
Home kitchen-tested recipe
Serves 4 or more depending on how much you fix. Recipe is by Tommy C. Simmons.
1 lb. okra (look for larger-sized, straight-growing pods)
Sea salt or kosher salt
Red pepper, optional
Slice off stem end of each okra pod. Then slice each okra pod lengthwise in half or quarters if the pod is really fat. Place in a large bowl.
Drizzle about 2 tablespoons olive oil over the sliced okra. Season with coarse salt (sea salt or kosher), a dash of black pepper and red pepper. Mix to coat all the okra slices (I now refer to them as sticks in order to interest the grandchildren in trying them). Let sit for 5 minutes.
Spray a foil-lined baking pan with olive oil and dump the seasoned okra sticks onto the pan and spread out so they are in one layer only.
Roast at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, but watch the roasting time. You want the sticks to brown on the ends before you turn them in the pan, but not to overcook. Turn the okra sticks and finish browning on the other side.
Remove from oven and let cool enough to be able to pick up an okra stick and eat it like a French fry.
Testing Note: I’ve seen these served with dipping sauces, but I like them simply roasted with the salt and pepper. Eliminate the red pepper, if you like. I’ve reheated leftover okra sticks in the microwave and added them to salads and tomato sandwiches the next day. Yummy, always!
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By Joan Casanova, Bonnie Plants,
Photographs courtesy of Bonnie Plants, Inc.
Shorter days and cooler temperatures mean gardeners everywhere can flex their green thumb to squeeze every last moment out of the growing season. The experts at Bonnie Plants offer some fall gardening tips.
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