Okra Stew

Summer in the South means a lot of things: long days of humidity fading into beautiful sunsets, munching mosquitoes, cold drinks. It also means okra. Lots and lots of okra that love the sun and grow tall under its intense, summer gaze.

I love okra. Growing up, the only way I ever tasted it was fried. My Granny fries the best okra. She puts it in a cornmeal mix and pops it in the hot oil waiting on the stove. But in the past few years, I've discovered that I love okra in several form. I can't get enough of it raw. Just washed and eaten whole, dipped in hummus, or chopped in salads. It's also great pan roasted. Next summer, I want to try grilled.

Cooking the okra whole contains the slime. Frying also does this, as it helps the meal to stick and thus makes the perfect fried vegetable. But to be healthier, and still stay away from slime, cooking it whole works.

For this dish, simply put the okra in a frying pan over medium heat. Cover the bottom with water to prevent sticking. Cover with a lid and cook for about five minutes or until the okra is soft but still holds it's shape. Then add a tomato, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook it another minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add about one tablespoon of Bragg's or soy sauce to taste.  

I served this over brown rice. This would be a great side dish with a bean entree.

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