Thursday, February 4, 2010

Okra and Tomatoes

I'm dreaming of summer.

We have had a severe winter this time around and it has started to oppress us. All of us. Everyone I talk to. This morning, the light is drab and gloomy and the sky is gray and pregnant--with something. We have a 100% chance of precipitation, but what to expect depends upon who you listen to. Luckily, I have a weather rock. You know the one. . . if the rock is wet it is raining, if the rock is white it is snowing, if the rock is glistening, it is icy, and so on.

I'm also tired of hearty soups and stews, although those are my favorite things to cook. We still need sturdy, warming food and I decided a pot of okra and tomatoes sounded just right. Ideally you should start with fresh, young pods of okra, and plump, juicy, vine ripened garden tomatoes for this recipe to be at its best. I used a jar of my home canned tomatoes and fresh frozen okra. This is an okra lovers dream.

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes
1 Tbsp. olive oil (or bacon drippings if you have it)
1 large, sweet onion, chopped
1 lb. okra, thoroughly rinsed, sliced if desired
3-4 large, ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
(or 1 quart canned tomatoes and their juice)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add onions. Cook until the onions are tender and turning golden. Add the okra and tomatoes along with their juice. Cover the pan and simmer gently for about 25 minutes, until the okra is very tender. Add salt and pepper.

I've been trying to think of kind words to describe the texture of okra, which releases a milky substance whose thickening properties make it useful in soups and stews and famous in gumbo. Glutinous? Ick. Muculent? Even worse. Silky sounds good. OK then, silky it is. Oh heck, I am not going to defend okra. It is slimy. I love that about it.


  1. Okra..ladyfingers okra...i love i love...add a few juicy tomatoes and am jus going strait for that one...

    We do make a very similiar stew or portuguese 'gizzado' here...

  2. I've never heard okra called ladyfingers, but I think I'll start calling it that! Also, I'll look for a recipe for gizzado.

    Always good to see you here.

  3. I love stewed tomatoes and okra too!! Nothing like fresh from the garden but canned tomatoes and frozen okra will work for a fix!! I sometimes eat it over rice. It's a complete meal for me.

    I enjoy reading your blog. Your recipes always look so delicious.

    Coastal NC

  4. Thank you, Wanda, we like it over rice also.

  5. Wow, such beautiful tomatoes! Ah, it makes me long for Summer.

    Since you are using homegrown ingredients, would you like to enter this post in our Grow Your Own roundup this month? Full Details at