Don't like the sliminess of okra? You don't have to worry about that. It's all about what you pair with it.
Okra is in season, so why not treat yourself to some while it's fresh.
In "Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking"
(Gibbs Smith, $45), Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart tell us that acid counters the mucilaginous, or slimy, quality of okra. "With this discovery, okra and tomatoes became the basics of many vegetable dishes and soups," they write.
In Dupree's husband's South Carolina family, this dish was always served over rice.
Okra and Tomatoes
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
2-3 cups canned diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups okra, caps removed and sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
Granulated sugar, optional
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes and okra, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until thick, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the tomatoes taste "tinny," add a little sugar to smooth out the flavor.
- For Fresh Tomatoes and Okra: Peel and seed 4 to 5 large tomatoes to substitute for the canned tomatoes.
- For Okra with Corn and Tomatoes: Scrape corn off the cob and add to the pot 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 4 servings.
From "Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking" by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart