Stewed Okra and Tomatoes

Stewed okra and tomatoes
Stewed okra and tomatoes

     The other day I was walking through my local Sprouts and I spotted some beautiful okra sitting in a large barrel. For those that don’t have one in their area, Sprouts touts themselves as:

“Sprouts is a neighborhood grocery store with the feel of an old-fashioned farmers market. Our bright, friendly stores are filled with everyday staples and specialty items at a great value. You’ll find mountains of fresh fruits and vegetables, barrels of wholesome grains, nuts and sweets, full-service deli, meat and seafood counters—complete with homemade burgers and sausages. Roam around our spacious aisles and you’ll find fresh baked goods, eclectic beer and wine, gourmet cheese, sensibly-priced vitamins and supplements, and thousands of natural, organic and gluten-free groceries.”

It’s a great place to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, grass fed beef and exotic meats such as bison, elk and others. And if you are into it, they have all kinds of health nut things. Vitamins and organic this and that and gluten free everything. Great stuff if you are into it, but I mainly go to get fresh fruits and veggies.

     Like I was saying, I spotted some beautiful okra and I grabbed it thinking only of making fried okra. Then I got to thinking that fried was probably not the healthiest choice I could make and instead decided stewed okra and tomatoes would be much healthier and I’m glad I did. I knew that Mrs. G liked it. What I didn’t know was that it is one of her favorite dishes. Score some extra bonus points for me. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh okra, stems and tips removed and sliced (frozen is ok if that is all you can find)
  • 2 slices of thick bacon
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I used red as Sprouts did not have green and I don’t like green anyway)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 14.5 can diced tomatoes with juices (basil, garlic and oregano preferably)
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp creole seasoning, such as Tony Chachere’s
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional 1 tsp of sugar (to cut the acidity if desired)
After simmering for awhile
After simmering for a while

Directions

  1. In a large saute pan, cook the two slices of bacon. When done, remove bacon and set aside. Coarsely chop when cool.
  2. Sautee the onion and bell pepper over medium heat in the reserved bacon grease until tender (add extra oil if needed). Once tender, add the garlic and sautee for an additional minute of two, making sure not to brown the garlic.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients including the chopped bacon, turn the stove down to a low simmer and cover the pan. Cook for about 30 minutes or until okra has reached your preferred texture.

*Note – this dish is even better if made the day before or if allowed to set for a few hours after cooking to allow the flavors to develop and marry.

Plated up with a nice piece of fish and home made tartar sauce.
Plated up with a nice piece of fish and home made tartar sauce.

     Even though I was craving fried okra when I was at the store, I’m glad I went the healthier route. This dish is chock-full of flavors. A little tart, a little sweet, a little heat and just the right amount of acidity. It doesn’t look very pretty on a plate, but don’t let its looks fool you. Mrs. G declared the dish a winner, although she said I overcooked the bacon. She thinks I shouldn’t have gotten it as crispy as I did.

     As for the fish, we’ll get to that tomorrow. Or the next day. In the meantime, you can find the recipe for our home made Horseradish and Tarragon Tartar Sauce HERE. The only changes we’ve made is to use yellow onion instead of the red onion. The red onion tends to turn the sauce pink if allowed to sit to long.

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15 thoughts on “Stewed Okra and Tomatoes

  1. I’ve never been a big fan of Okra. I have a lot of family from the South, but I’m born and raised in Chicago, and seeing as how I don’t directly have those Southern roots in my blood, I suppose I’ll use that as my excuse for never caring for, nor understanding what the big deal was about Okra. Like you, I would never have assumed that Okra could be served any other way than fried, but damn this post just opened my eyes. It actually looks delicious (even though it doesn’t, er…, plate well), and I’ll have to consider abandoning the volition of my stubborn Midwestern taste buds to give this a shot. I liked your plug in there for Sprouts too. We have some similar “boutique” grocery stores springing up here (Mariano’s), just like they are across the rest of the country. I’m glad that we, as consumers, have changed the entire business model of grocery store chains, and that we are being offered access to fresher fruits & vegetables, and things like grass-fed beef as you mentioned above. Keep up the good work Mr. G.

    1. Thanks JJ. I think the reason that it doesn’t plate well, especially if you were the one cooking it, is that the okra goes from a vibrant green among the red of the tomatoes and then really fades and dulls out. Just doesn’t look as pretty anymore. But it still tastes good. To me, okra isn’t a “big deal”, its just another vegetable, but we gotta eat our veggies, ya know?

  2. I used to hate okra, primarily as it tasted both slimy and hairy at the same time… but then I had it fried in chilli sambal and my mind was completely changed! I like the idea of this okra stew too. I can imagine how delicious it would’ve been with the fish! Yum. Great post!

    1. What is up with that slimy-ness of okra? It kept sticking to my knife as I was slicing it up. Fried in chilli sambal? My interest is piqued. Tell me more. Was it battered first? What else was in it? Inquiring minds want to know. Or at least mine does. 😉

    1. Thank you very much. The only two things I know to do with okra are stewed and fried. No…I take that back. Gumbo. When it really comes back into season, I’ll be looking for more recipes.

    1. LOL. I wish they were paying me. As always, this is a non-profit blog. Never been paid a cent, just a labor of love. Everything is good here. Love the new look of your site. You’ve been putting out some incredible food.

  3. Looooooooooove Okra!!!! Thanks for posting such a delicious recipe on one of my favorite and most underrated veggies! Unfortunately for me, can only have them about 3 times a year when I go back to the states!

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