Simple & Frugal Roasted Okra
As a rule, I think okra is gross. I also think it’s miraculous. Have you ever cut into it? 3 seconds into chopping okra, you know you’ve made a terrible mistake. It’s slimy, sticky, and hairy – 3 words I never intentionally associate with food.
What’s miraculous about this signature Southern fruit is that all three of those elements disappear when you cook it right. Many Southerners adore fried okra, and while I’m no exception to the fried food wagon, I’m also not going to deep fry anything in the summertime.
So when a friend of mine introduced me to roasted okra, I was hooked. Since it’s is so easy to grow and so inexpensive right now, this is a frugal, simple, vegetable side we cooked a lot this summer.
It’s also not slimy, sticky, or hairy. So that’s a win.
For the easiest preparation and clean up, I use these glass Pyrex bowls with lids (affiliate link). A large plastic container works, but I found that clean up is easier in a glass bowl, so ones with lids make it easy.
Stoneware pans are a game changer when it comes to clean up too, and I love the Pampered Chef brand (another affiliate link – but I found mine at a yard sale).
- 7-10 medium-size fresh okra, sliced into coins (see photos)
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced (I like red onion)
- 1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups green tomatoes, chopped (any size tomato works here. You can also use a combination of green and red tomatoes, but green tastes best)
- 3/4 cup corn meal (feel free to use more or less, to taste)
- 3-4 tbsp oil (melted butter, avocado oil, or olive oil all work)
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
In a medium-size container with a lid, combine all ingredients.
Close lid tightly and shake vigorously to evenly coat vegetables with oil, corn meal, and seasoning.
Check vegetables and adjust cornmeal, oil, and seasoning as needed (Use the photo above as a guide. You want the vegetables evenly coated but not completely smothered).
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-35 minutes until okra is cooked thoroughly and cornmeal is lightly browned. Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of your okra and breading.
What about you? Do you eat okra? I’d love to see some links to your favorite recipes. Like I said, it’s so easy to grow in the south, I want to cook with it more often.