It is interesting how polarizing some vegetables can be. Okra seems to be one of the best examples of this. Just mention it by name and some will double over with melodramatic displays of distaste. Then there are those- like me who respond with affection for these pods.
It seems that a major factor for okra affection is how you prepare it. Okra is unique in that it has a high fiber content that yields a mucilaginous (or as others say “slimy”) texture. When it is prepared with high acid foods like tomatoes an vinegar this quality declines and when it is battered and deep fried- the crunchy exterior provides a good cover for the contrast of the interior. Adding okra to dishes (like gumbo) provides thickening qualities.
When I created the recipes for Julie Hadden’s book “Fat Chance” she specifically requested a healthy okra recipe and we made a pan-fried version that is delicious. Since that time grilling has become my favorite way to prepare these pods. I love the way their edges crisp slightly as they absorb the smoky flavor of the grill. With only a few ingredients this recipe comes together quickly and is a perfect side or appetizer to throw on the grill when you’re already making a summer supper.
I have added the bacon because even the pickiest of eaters will find a way to eat something when bacon is involved. It is optional though and you can choose to skip it and still have a delicious dish.
- 32 medium okra pods
- 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp KitchenAble Seasoning (or salt and pepper)
- bamboo skewers
- 8 strips of bacon (optional)
Heat grill to medium-high temperature. Arrange okra pods in a row, side-by-side and pierce with parallel skewers. If pods are medium use 4 per skewer, if they are smaler you can add more. Brush lightly with olive oil and season. Place on medium-hot grill and cook until char marks appear on one side then turn and cook on the other side until it has marks as well.
If you prefer to make these with bacon: weave one strip of bacon over and under the okra pods before skewereing- wrapping excess bacon around the pods on the edges. Cook in the same manner but allow the bacon to crisp slightly before turning. *Do not use "thick cut" bacon for this as it will take too long to cook in proportion to the okra.
Nutrition information is caculated without bacon.