I struggled with whether or not to include okra. I see gardens full of it when I drive, people giving it away because they have so much and I indulge in pickled okra like candy. With most of my picks I like to ask around though and find out what people have actually tried and I have come across enough people who have never eaten it to justify including. I’m still shocked since I remember eating little pieces of fried okra in the elementary school cafeteria. It is amazing that people have not tried it, but it hit me, that I have never prepared it.
Much like the cactus paddles, okra is also a mucilaginous vegetable in that it contains slime. The big difference between the cactus slime and okra slime though is that there are tiny seeds swimming in the slime and they are actually a very satisfying thing to eat in terms of texture.
I will say that most people love okra to fry it. I’m not talking throw some oil in the skillet and toss the okra pieces, but cut into bites, breaded and then fried in a good pool of oil. I probably just set off a bunch of people’s taste buds. They are delicious.
As much as I love fried okra, I’m not going to do that this week. I feel like I could easily fry these up, but there are so many other ways to use okra. I will say I am going to have at least one southern preparation this week so don’t fret too much.
Did I mention that this is in season RIGHT NOW. That means you may not even have to buy it from the store like I did for $1.98 a pound which isn’t too shabby. If you know a gardener they most likely will share some okra with you. So go on and get out there either with your neighbors or in the grocery store and pick up a pound of pods!