Okra and Tomatoes could be one of my favorite comfort food combinations. Many people hate the texture of cooked, pickled, or even fried okra. Personally, I think they are all a bit crazy. In our family, we have a food theory. If you do not like something, you have not had it properly prepared.
Properly prepared tomatoes and okra is about the easiest thing to make and if you are far from home and need a bit of comfort, this is the perfect side dish or served as a meal over rice.
Tomatoes (large variety)
Salt (sea salt)
Step 1 – Mise en Place, which literally translates to Put in Place, is the preparation step. You need to wash your okra, remove the tops (see first picture) and chop your garlic. If you really want to make strides, you can even chop your tomatoes in advance. Most often we send the garlic through the press but in this dish we actually mince it to ensure larger pieces in each bite.
Step 2 – Take your pan and turn on the medium/high heat. Cover the bottom of your pan with olive oil. Let the oil heat up and add your garlic. Now, garlic cooks very quickly in a hot pan. As a result, you probably don’t want to stray too far from the kitchen. While sautéing the garlic, you can chop your tomatoes (if you have not already), or wait for the garlic to look slightly translucent. This is the sign of cooked garlic.
Step 3 – Add your tomatoes to the garlic/olive oil. Stir. These only need to cook for about 2 minutes.
Step 4 – Add your cut and washed okra, and stir together.
Step 5 – Salt and pepper your dish. In the last picture notice how the okra changed from bright green to more of a dull, pea colored green. Often people are so scared to try their dishes, especially if company is watching. Never fear, just try it and if things taste too crunchy, cook a bit longer. Almost every dish, in any respectable kitchen in the world has a chef who ensures the quality by tasting the sauce with a finger or spoon, or pressing the steak/chicken to check for firmness. Since you are the chef of your own kitchen, you can make it work.
Hope you enjoy the foods of summer