Okra is not the most conventional vegetable in the garden. Okra is subtle in flavour and rich with vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, C, E and K, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.
When it is cooked, okra can produce a “slime” that can put people off from using it more often. Here is a quick trick to avoid sliminess: Cook okra at a very high heat in coconut or canola oil, sautéing until it has a slight char — which makes it even tastier.
I featured the following recipe at Caribbean Culinary Week in New York City. Enjoy!
SPINACH AND OKRA HASH – SERVES 2-4
5-6 cups spinach or callaloo, chopped
10 okras, sliced into rounds
3-4 sweet potatoes, boiled
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 seasoning peppers, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground
1/4 cup vegetable stock
Finely chop spinach leaves and slice okra into thin rounds. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter in a skillet on medium high heat. Add cooked diced sweet potatoes and sauté until the outsides are slightly charred, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
Heat the remaining oil and butter in a medium-size skillet over medium high heat until the butter is melted. Add the onion, garlic, scallions, seasoning peppers and okra, cooking for 10 minutes until fragrant and okra is slightly charred on the outside. Add spinach, bell pepper, thyme, salt, and other seasonings and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and vegetable stock, cooking for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the spinach is wilted. Serve with rice.
Maureen Cubbon is the wellness director for Bestlife Wellness Solutions and chef with Bon Vivant in Camana Bay.