Strike one more vegetable off my, “I really, really, REALLY need to learn how to like this repellent green thing” list. Okra, oh delicious, mysterious, oddly viscous, okra — so long have you been out of my reach, beyond my culinary ken. I’ve had you fried, steamed, and gumbo’d, but still, you did not convince me of your deliciousness.
Even more amazing than my about-face on this newly in season veggie is how simple her recipe is; just slice the fuzzy hexagons and saute. Nothing fancy. When I saw Catherine pull her okra out of the fridge — already sliced — I interrogated her. “Is that necessary? A sort of resting in the fridge to dry out the slime before cooking? It makes it crispier?” She looked at me. “No, it was just easier to have them sliced before you came over.” Oh.
Just tonight, I tried to replicate Catherine’s easier than easy recipe. Sensing the sizzle-pop was over and delicious okra was soon to follow, my husband wandered into the kitchen and found me staring at my pile of okra. “I don’t think I did it right. It looks overcooked.” I reached out and sadly plucked a slice out of the green mound and sampled it. It definitely wasn’t as crispy as Catherine’s. My husband plucked out a slice of his own. “It’s great!” he assured me. The perfectionist in me didn’t believe him. But I plucked out another slice. And another. And another.
Without any utensils or even sitting down, the two of us consumed the entire mass of salty okra in about two minutes. I will not stop in my quest to get my okra Catherine-perfect, but it does appear that even the less than perfect stuff is furiously addicting.
I’m not worried. I have all summer to figure it out.