Okra form part of the culinary heritage of many cuisines – including the Greek cuisine. When my mother was growing up in Greece – 60-70 years ago – they had 3 different okra varieties that her family cultivated – including a hairy-yellow variety 🤓 They planted the seeds in spring – along with the tomato seeds – and harvested the fruit in summer. They made Tourlou – a mixed vegetable bake (also known as briam or ratatouille) that I will be sharing with you tomorrow; okra with tomato in a fry pan (I will be sharing my mum’s baked version on Wednesday) and even blanched okra dressed with crushed garlic, vinegar and salt (hoping to share this one too!)
In all the years my mother and I have cooked okra we have never once treated the okra with salt or lemon or vinegar to “de-slime” them. We allow the natural cooking processes to dehydrate the okra and literally “cook out” any mucous contained within the fruit.
Okra 101 - Simple Greek Baked Okra Recipe
- 500 g okra
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Preparing the plain baked okra
Using a paring knife, make an angled incision into the okra just below the visible line that separates the stalk from the fruit - continue cutting around the okra to form a conical pyramid at the top of the okra (see Okra 101 video for prep guide)
Wash and drain all of the okra
Place them in pan so they form only one layer in the pan
Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with salt
Bake at 200°C fan-forced until they brown – approximately 40-45minutes – toss half way through baking
Serving the plain baked okra
Enjoy as a meze with a glass of ouzo!