- Asian Pears
- Sweet and Hot Peppers
- Heirloom Tomatoes
- Sweet Potato Foliage
The 411 on OKRA
There are many vegetables that kids don't care for but grow to love as adults. Okra may be that rare vegetable that works just the other way around: kids seem to love it, and only learn to hate it when they get older.
Okra is a powerhouse of valuable nutrients. It is a good source of vitamin C. It is low in calories and is fat-free.
Okra originated in Africa and famously gave the world the stew "gumbo," taking its name from the native word for okra. Okra followed the slave trade into the New World, finding a home all over the South and in the Caribbean islands. Okra loves a hot and humid climate and grows very well right here in the District of Columbia.
Okra is available year-round, with a peak season during the summer months. It is available either frozen or fresh. When buying fresh okra, make sure that you select dry, firm, okra. They should be medium to dark green in color and blemish-free. Fresh okra should be used the same day that it was purchased or stored paper bag in the warmest part of the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Severe cold temperatures will speed up okra decay. Do not wash the okra pods until ready to use, or it will become slimy.
When preparing, remember that the more it is cut, the slimier it will become. Its various uses allow for okra to be added to many different recipes. Okra is commonly used as a thicken agent in soups and stews because of its sticky core. However, okra may also be steamed, boiled, pickled, sautčed, or stir-fried whole. Okra is a sensitive vegetable and should not be cooked in pans made of iron, copper or brass since the chemical properties turns okra black.
Some people prefer their okra fried, to eliminate the gooey-ness that sometimes accompanies this relative of the mallow plant but try one of the two versions of stewed okra below.
Most people who have eaten or have cooked okra, know about the okra slime. Some recipes call for the whole okra, but how do you deal with the okra slime?
There are few ways to minimize the slime:
- Simply trim the off the ends and avoid puncturing the okra capsule.
- You can also minimize the slime factor by avoiding the tendency to overcook okra.
Smothered Creole Okra
There are no herbs or spices in this preparation other than salt and pepper. You might be surprised how full of flavor it is. Pairing okra with onions, tomatoes and corn seems to be a perfect combination. Serve it with plain rice.
2 tablespoons bacon grease (or substitute extra-virgin olive oil)
1/2 yellow onion, cut into medium dice
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into medium dice
26 okra pods (each about 3 inches long), stem removed and cut on an angle into 1/2-inch pieces
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, with juice (or two ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced)
1 cup corn kernels
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a heavy skillet over moderately low heat, heat the bacon grease or olive oil and add the onion and green pepper. Cover and sweat the vegetables until they are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the okra, tomatoes and corn, cover and cook until the okra is fully cooked and tender, about 20 minutes. (The okra should turn an olive-green color). Season with salt and pepper and serve hot with brown rice.
We sampled this new product over the weekend at the Farmer's Market at Piedmont Park and the customers gave it rave reviews. We served it on a buttery cracker with cream cheese topped with the jam and a slice of our banana pepper and a basil leaf as a garnish.
We still have honey available at $4.00/ bottle. We also have various fresh herbs available for $3.00/bunch. Please email us with any special request. You can get extras of anything we include in your box. Don't forget about our Value Added Products. We now have a 32 oz jar of our Heirloom tomatoes and our Country Red tomatoes for $6.00.
As always Thanks for your continued support with our CSA program here at TaylOrganic Farm.