Deep South Dining | Okra Time
Okra is a great southern delicacy, but is also one of the most misunderstood vegetables around. These two views of okra caused author Chris Smith to write the book, The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration. After a 2006 trip to the US from his native land of England, Chris was fascinated with this wonder plant that often gets reduced to being fried or stewed, but is capable of so much more. Malcolm and Carol chat with Chris about his okra journey and also get a history lesson about the beloved Fighting Okra of Delta State University (Cleveland, MS) from archivist Emily Jones.Okra Fires (Recipe by Vivian Howard as found in The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration by Chris Smith)Ingredients1 pound okra (453g; 20-25pods), split or quartered lengthwise2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil2 teaspoons ground coriander1 teaspoon salt10 turns of the pepper mill or 1/4 teaspoon black pepperInstructionsHeat oven to 400 degrees.In a medium bowl, toss the okra with the olive oil, coriander, salt and pepper.Spread the okra onto your largest baking pan, or two pans if necessary. What's important is that the okra have plenty of room to spread out. If they are piled on top of each other, they will steam, not roast.Slide the pan onto the middle rack of the preheated oven. After 10 minutes, toss the okra gently with a spatula and rotate your pans if you are using two. Cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes.When okra is done, it will be brown and crispy in a lot of places but shouldn’t smell burnt. Serve warm or at room temperature as a snack.