ROASTED OKRA

8.27.2015

Cooking ruts are hard to get out of, especially when we're talking about weekday cooking. It's easy to open the pantry and cook the first thing that comes to mind. It requires no thinking because you've made it a thousand times. No prep, no planning. One of the missions of this blog is to cook outside of my comfort zone and get out of my cooking ruts. G claims we don't have repeat meals enough, but I feel like there's a world of food and recipes to be had and wanting to introduce as many different foods as possible to L is motivation to mix things up.

When L was first eating solids, she loved okra. I would buy a pack of frozen cut-up okra (she was born in the fall), quickly cook them up in a pan and she'd stick her fingers through the holes and eat the little white rounds in the middle. The sliminess didn't bother her one bit. Then, like kids do, a month later she played with the slime and declared "no more."

That's how most people feel about okra. "Gross" is used a lot when describing it. Outside of Southern and Japanese cooking, I feel like okra doesn't show up on the the menu much. And while there are plenty of ways to prepare okra in new and interesting ways, roasted is by far my favorite way of eating it. The best part, the roasting gets rid of the slime. And almost better, it's super fast and easy. Win, win!



ROASTED OKRA
~serves 4

I seasoned this with Shichimi Togarashi, which is a Japanese chile spice blend that you can buy in most grocery stores now. You don't need it, as you can season this with just about anything, but if you've never tried Togarashi it's pretty awesome. On noodles, eggs, popcorn, meat...it makes things a little more special. But it does pack a tiny punch, which is not toddler friendly, so I set some okra aside for L seasoned with some S&P and sprinkled the rest with the Togarashi for us. 

2 lb fresh okra, trimmed if you wish
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp maldon salt 

Preheat oven to 450ºF. 
Rinse the okra and dry thoroughly. They'll steam if you don't dry them, which will lead to soggy okra.
Combine the okra, olive oil and salt and spread onto a sheet tray in one layer. 
Roast for 18-20 minutes, tossing halfway through, until lightly or darkly browned, depending on your preference. 
While still hot, sprinkle with togarashi and more salt, if needed. Set aside to cool slightly.
Serve hot, warm or cold :) 

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