You now how I know it’s summer? I mean, besides the 100+ temperatures predicted every day this week… OKRA and ZUCCHINI!
Last summer, I thought I’d discovered my favorite way to enjoy okra: rolled in almond meal and toasted in the oven. But last night, I discovered my One True Way To Eat Okra™. Say hello to grilled okra; I guarantee you’ll have a summer romance.
1 pound fresh okra
1 tablespoon coconut oil
salt and garlic powder, to taste
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1. Preheat gas grill on high with the lid closed, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the stem off each piece of okra. Be careful not to cut into the pod! If you don’t allow oxygen to get inside the pod, you will not be slimed. Put cleaned okra in a large mixing bowl with plenty of room to toss.
2. Place the coconut oil in a ramekin or measuring cup and melt in the microwave, about 15 seconds. Drizzle over the okra, then generously sprinkle the okra with salt and garlic powder. Toss with two wooden spoons until okra is coated with oil and seasonings. Don’t wash the bowl; just set it aside for a few minutes.
3. Place okra on the grill, close the lid, and amuse yourself for 2 minutes. Using tongs, roll the okra onto its other side and grill for another 2 minutes with the lid closed. Remove the okra from the grill and return it to the bowl. Toss again to roll the okra in the remnants of the coconut oil. Sprinkle with a little more salt, if you’re a salt fiend like me. Eat with your fingers!
I served our okra alongside a nicely charred, boneless/skinless chicken thigh and zucchini noodles tossed with homemade pesto. If you don’t have a julienne peeler yet, you need to get one… like, NOW. (Amazon has them!) The peeler is under 10 bucks, and the fragrant, slippery noodles with pesto were so good, they made me want to smash in my own face with joy.
Update: How To Make The Zucchini Noodles
Julienne the zucchini and sauté in a non-stick skillet ’til tender. Remove from the heat and mix in a few tablespoons of homemade pesto. It’s important to mix the pesto into your veggies OFF THE STOVE, rather than adding the pesto to the food while it’s cooking. Too much heat will make the herbs turn bitter.
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