We used to grow okra in our vegetable garden but, for the past two years, we didn’t even plant a garden. (We’re growing lambs and chicks and goats instead, I guess!) There’s just so much work to be done on the farm and physical labor of maintaining a big garden was about to kill me. Farmer Bob has been talking about redesigning our garden (after he retires) to make it easier to work with a tractor but, for now, I rely on the wonderful vegetable farms in our area.
My latest score was FIVE pounds of okra for just $1 a pound! Yay me! That was enough for me to make 4 quarts of pickled okra, with enough left over to make my favorite stewed okra and tomatoes for supper!
Here’s my favorite recipe for pickled okra. I used to can this in pint jars, but you can also do what I did this time: pack it in quart jars, pour the hot brine over, and put it in the fridge. (Wait 5 days before eating.) It’ll keep for weeks in the fridge, but I bet you’ll eat it all before then. Y
2 lbs. fresh okra, washed and stems trimmed short
9 small hot peppers, pieces of dried cayenne, or fresh jalapenos
9 whole cloves of garlic, sliced in half
3 T. dill seeds or mustard seeds
Whole pepper corns
4 c. white vinegar
4 c. water
1/2 c. pickling salt
1/4 c. sugar
In 9 wide mouth, pint jars, put 1 pepper (or piece of pepper), 2 garlic clove halves, and 1 tsp. dill or mustard seed.
Pack okra into jars.
Bring vinegar, water, salt and sugar to a boil and pour boiling brine over the okra, leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Gently jiggle the jars to remove air bubbles. Add more brine if you need to to make that 1/2 inch of head space.
Wipe rims, place lid on and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
OR, do all the above in desired jars, without processing in boiling water. Set the hot jars on the counter to let them cool down, and then put in the fridge. Start enjoying your pickles after 5 days (I know, it’s hard to wait!).
*This recipe is loosely based on a recipe I found in one of my favorite cookbooks. You can find it HERE if you’d like to have this great book in your kitchen library, too! Wow! I see that you can read this for free on Kindle, but the hard copy price starts at $69! I guess it must be out of print. I’m going to move my copy to the safe in case someone tries to break in and snitch it! HA!
Stewed Okra & Tomatoes
I didn’t think to get a picture of this dish…we were in such a hurry to eat supper! I know there are many variations of this recipe, but I like it plain as can be, and it couldn’t be easier to make.
1 lb. fresh or frozen whole okra, washed and stems cut short
1 (15 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
Place okra in a small saucepan. Add a bit of water…about one cup. Add a big pinch of salt, put the lid on and bring to a boil. Return to a simmer and simmer, covered, till the okra is just tender-crisp. Add the tomatoes (with all the juice), a good amount of ground black pepper according to your taste, and bring back to a boil, uncovered. Reduce heat to simmer and cook till the okra is nice and tender. The end. Enjoy!