Growing up in Texas, my dad always had a garden. We enjoyed all kinds of veggies as kids, but the one that had my interest was okra. It had a weird shape and when cooked, would emit that slime that just wasn’t always pleasant. We would always say, “If you think it’s okra, it’s not (snot)”. So we much preferred the fried version which always came out crunchy and delicious.
Last time I was home, my dad picked two large bags of okra fresh from his garden. My mom promptly made up a batch of her roasted okra which was a way I had never tasted it. I thought you could only put it in gumbo or boil it with a lemon until it was slimy. It was amazing and we devoured it like locusts. I loved it because it wasn’t battered or fried, or mushy and slimy. It was crunchy, yet tender with a subtle hint of olive oil and a cayenne kick. These will now be a staple in my house during okra season.
4 cups sliced okra
If okra is whole, slice into pieces leaving caps on. Slice enough okra to make about 4 cups. Put okra in a bowl and add about 2-3 T. olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour okra on top. Convection bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, tossing okra once half way through. Okra is done when it is browned and slightly crispy. For a kick, add a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper or my favorite, Cat 5 Food Polish. But beware, that stuff is HOT!
Green Beans and Parsnips work well too! I am always inspired when I go home to San Antonio for a visit. I love checking out “Papa’s garden” and seeing what’s in season. Whatever it is, my mom will know just what to do with it. She’s got some pretty mean cooking skills and I’m always watching and learning. We have the same taste buds, so I know whatever she makes, I’ll like. Just like that batch of okra, she whipped up for us last month. She never ceases to amaze!