We thought we’d make something a little different with some of the okra we picked up last week at the CSA. Not that we’re giving up on our favorite way of having okra — fried. But, just something that might be a bit simpler to whip up at a moment’s notice. We did a quick check on the Internet, and hit upon the idea of oven-roasted okra. Well, we know how to make Oven Roasted Fries, and those are really good, so let’s try oven-roasted okra!
And why not some of those fries, too? Might as well, since the oven will be on, anyway. Between the okra and three sweet potatoes, we had enough for a dinner. So, let’s see exactly how you could scratch up a batch of Spiced and Roasted Okra!
Serves 2 as an appetizer.
Not much here, right? Well, for this, you’ll probably want to use a mild chili powder (or cut back quite a bit on the amount). We used a smoked paprika to impart a nice smoky flavor to the okra; you could use plain paprika. In fact, think of this as really an idea that will allow you to use your favorite flavor combinations. Curry powder would be great, as would something akin to a creole seasoning. Let your imagination go and turn these pods into a house-special roasted okra recipe for which you’ll be famous!
Procedure in detail:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly oil baking sheet.
Trim okra pods. We wash the okra, let the pods dry a bit, them trim off the stem end. We’ve heard that letting the okra dry will prevent sliminess. Feel free to try it; we really don’t notice much of a difference either way. We let the pods dry so that the oil coating will stick.
Make spice coating. Get out a medium bowl, measure the ingredients, and stir until everything is mixed into a nice little slurry. Sometimes we like really simple meals, and you can’t get much simpler.
Coat. Toss the okra in the slurry until it is well-coated with the spice mixture. Then transfer to the baking sheet, spreading out the pods in a single layer.
Bake. Slide the pods into the oven, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring around about halfway through. These don’t really crisp up, or, at least, ours didn’t, so don’t really expect them to be crispy or crunchy. Maybe if you baked them a lot longer….
Serve. We just divided them into two bowls for our appetizer, and went to town.
When we first saw this idea, we thought that the okra would get crispy on the outside. It doesn’t, at least not in the 30 minutes that we baked them. But, they didn’t get soggy, either; instead, they were somewhere in between, but with a good and flavorful coating. And, just in case you’re wondering, there is no sliminess (We’ve never had that problem with okra; we have no idea what people do to those poor defenseless little okra to make them slimy, but we sure as heck ain’t doing it.). While we really liked these, next time we’re going to place them in a grilling basket and cook them over a real fire so they get a bit charred on the outside. Then, they’ll deserve five stars; but, until then, let’s go with four.