In Greece, okra are usually cooked “laderes” which is today’s vegan dish cooked with olive oil, in a tomato sauce. However, I have also cooked them with sundried tomatoes as well and they are very delicious.
Okra is a summer vegetable and in Greece they appear in the farmers’ market from June to late September.
Fresh okra is often maligned for being slimy, but if they are handled properly, before cooked, these small, green pods will become delicious when cooked if you follow one of the following two procedures:
HOW TO PREPARE OKRA:
Okra have tiny spines, so if you want to avoid getting itchy, wear latex gloves when preparing them.
With a sharp knife cut the stem in a circular manner leaving a small cone on the top, without cutting through and revealing the seeds. Wash them thoroughly and drain.
Put them on a large tray in one layer and sprinkle them with wine vinegar (about 2 tbsp).
Let them sit in the sun for about 1 hour. Cover them so that insects may not go on them.
They are ready to be cooked. No rinse is necessary.
Recently, I made this video showing you the way I peel them:
Put some salt in a small bowl ( 3 – 4 tbsp). With a sharp knife cut the stem in a circular manner leaving a small cone on the top, without cutting through. Dip the cleaned edge in the salt and place on a large tray lined with kitchen paper, in one layer.
Let them sit in the sun for about 1 hour or more, covered with a tulle to prevent flies or insects from sitting on them.
Rinse thoroughly and drain well before cooking. If you are in a hurry to cook them, pat dry on kitchen towel.
Update: 10th June, 2012
I was looking for the vegen recipe of okra to link it to this recipe and I realized that I have never added the recipe.
There was a time that I was writing recipes on other sites but did not post the same recipe simultaneously on ny blog as well. I wrote about okra on Group Recipes, years ago and it somehow, slipped my mind to post it here as well.
This is a classic Greek recipe of okra and is the one I usually cook for my family. This is an updated recipe on how I cook it today.
The same recipe can be used with frozen okra. None of the above methods are necessary.
During August, I made the above Okra Stew and when preparing them, I made the video.
As during summers I do not have much free time due to the cooking classes, I have updated the recipe today.
The next day I had a plate of leftover okra stew, so I turned them into this delicious Pasta dish.
Other relevant recipes:
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,