Okra may prove to be a difficult vegetable if you're not sure how to prepare it. It gets a bad rap for being 'slimey', but if you cook it whole at a hot temperature the soluble plant fiber won't create this texture. Cooking okra with something acidic like tomatoes, vinegar, or lemon juice may also help. Okra is packed with fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants, calcium and potassium and is used in many different cultures around the world.
QUICK IDEAS: toss in olive oil and salt and put it on the grill; batter and fry and serve with a dipping sauce; make gumbo...it is the key ingredient!
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Almond Crusted Okra:
1 lb fresh whole okra, cleaned, end trimmed (get rid of that stem!)
2 cups finely ground almond flour (I take whole almonds and put them in my food processor, but cornmeal or wheat flour would work, too!)
frying oil of choice....you could use non GMO vegetable oil or canola oil or ghee
fresh basil for garnish
Chive Aioli (makes about 2 cups)
2 large garlic cloves, minced (sub onions if you do not have garlic)
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water
Juice of 1/2 lemon or more to taste
2 tablespoons chives, chopped fine
1) Fill a dutch oven or a heavy bottom pot with about three inches of oil. Heat to about 325F-350F degrees (use a thermometer for this).
2) Pour almond flour on a plate or pyrex casserole dish.
3) Crack eggs in a separate dish and whisk. Dredge the okra (just a handful at a time) in the egg, shake off extra and then roll in almond flour.
4) Carefully place battered okra in the oil. If it doesn't bubble up immediate turn the heat up. Do not overcrowd the pan, this will lower the temperature and give you soggy okra.
5) Using a spoon, rotate the okra so it fries evenly, about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon transfer okra to a plate lined with paper towels. Immediately sprinkle with salt.
6) Whisk garlic and egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking. Thin out with water to desired consistency. Add lemon juice and salt to taste.
7) To assemble stack tomatoes on top of each other. Place okra around tomatoes and sprinkle with fresh basil. Drizzle aioli and enjoy!