Okra and Sun Dried Tomatoes with Rice
Sun dried tomatoes, julienned
Mild peppers, sliced thin (they were from my parents' garden so I am not sure the variety I used; they looked like banana peppers but didn't have any heat)
Okra, sliced thin into wheels
Brown rice (cooked)
Saute the sun dried tomatoes in the olive oil until fragrant. Add the peppers and garlic; saute for 2 minutes. Add the okra and salt; saute for about 1-2 minutes. If the okra cooks too long, it will get gooey and sticky; you really want it to stay firm. Stir in some rice. Eat and enjoy!
Are you interested in learning more about okra? I was. Here is a little bit of what I learned this week:
Okra originates in Africa and is a member of the same family as the hibiscus. Because it has seeds, it is a fruit. Okra is commonly found in Middle Easter, Cajun, and Creole dishes. It is a common thickener used in soups and stews, such as gumbo.
- Choose colorful fruits that are long and thin. When the pods grow longer, they get woodier, drier, and tougher.
- Fresh is best when it comes to okra; it does not store well (even in the refrigerator) and is best when eaten a few days after harvest.
- Flavors that pair well with okra include: tomatoes, onion, pepper, curry, coriander, oregano, lemon, and vinegar.
- Stir-fry tender pods whole; add at the end of cooking and quickly heat through.
- Steam pods and dip them into seasoned oil or butter.
- Cut the pods into cross-section "wheels," bread, and fry.
- Pickle it.
- To avoide releasing the mucilage and turning it into a goopy mess, keep the pod intact and do not cut off the base or tip.
- Feeling adventurous? The mature seeds can be toasted and used as a coffee substitute.
- Okra is high in fiber and low in calories. it contains significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, calcium and iron. (Delicious and good for you...what could be better?)