Cooked right, this okra tastes great with any dish. And living in Georgia, it ain’t hard to find. (sorry, my southern accent comes out sometimes) Actually I’m a Yankee who’s been transplanted down to the South. I’ve lived here now more than I’ve lived up North, so does that qualify me as a true southerner now? I can say y’all and fixin’ and I know all the local expressions, like, “it’s so quiet in here you can hear a rat pee on cotton.” I think I qualify, right?
Typically, you’ll find okra breaded at the nearest Cracker Barrel or southern’ cookin’ buffet. What I don’t understand is why southerners can’t seem to cook it right! It’s always soggy and gummy.
For the longest time I would pine over my husband’s typical order of southern food: country fried steak, friend okra and pinto beans. Dipped in buttermilk, coated with cornmeal and flour and when fried right, okra is yum-my! However, most of the okra coming out of a southern kitchen restaurant just isn’t all that. It’s icky and gooey and just.not.good.
I didn’t cry too hard because with all of the gluten and dairy in a typical recipe, it seemed that okra and I would have to part ways forever, which I could live with because I just couldn’t handle the sogginess factor.
But then we moved into our new house and just down the road happened to be one of the best restaurants in Atlanta (no joke!) Antebellum Restaurant renewed my faith in a well-cooked okra and gave a new appreciation for the flavor of the vegetable without being battered and fried. Sauteed with just the slightest of lemon, a little salt and pepper and it was to die for! After asking the waiter how it was made we swore he was lying to us.
So as this year’s farmer’s market comes to a close, I pick up okra whenever I see it. It’s usually sauteed like I learned from Antebellum but I have been looking for a new way to eat it for a while now. As a way of branching off from the super simplistic way of sauteing it, I attempted this recipe for Sweet and Sour Pickled Okra, which didn’t disappoint.
Folks, this is way too easy NOT to try it!
What you’ll get is a similar flavor to a sweet and sour pickle, but with an unmistakable crunch and just a hint of bite. While snacking on these I’m reminded of a late season dinner party out back with a firepit warming us and more food than could be eaten in one meal spread out to enjoy. It’s makes a great side dish or a sweet and sour snack for the middle of the afternoon.
The original recipe can be found here on Briana Thomas’ blog. The only change was due purely to my store’s lack of dill seed, but with the dill weed I think it had just enough for a great flavor.
- Medium-sized okra, washed and stems cut off
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp stevia
- 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seed
- Optional: 1-2 peeled garlic cloves
- Add okra into a quart-sized glass canning jar. In a bowl combine the rest of teh ingredients and pour over the okra. Fill the jar to within an inch of the top with pure water. Let it sit for a few minutes. The liquid level will decrease slightly in the jar as the okra absorbs it. Top off the water again. Let the jar sit in the fridge for 2-3 days to let the okra soften and the flavor develop.