Giving okra the deep freeze

Okra takes an ice bath.

Okra in a refreshing ice bath.

So, gumbo didn’t happen.

I couldn’t find a recipe that I loved, which was OK because I didn’t feel like going to the market twice in two days. So I used the mild Italian sausage from yesterday’s trip with the second head of cabbage from the CSA for this Fettuccine with Sausage and Cabbage recipe I found on the website for Real Simple magazine. I used rigatoni noodles instead of fettuccine because, again, I didn’t feel like going to the market; tossed in two pressed cloves of garlic because I only had two shallots; and skipped the chives, because the ones in our patio container garden died during an extended porch railing repair project a couple of weeks ago. (Yet survived last winter. Sad.) Still, the dish was delicious. Mike is finishing it off — cold and directly from the pot — as I type.

Of course, the okra remained. And not just the okra from this week’s share, but what was in last week’s, too. I had to face facts: I wasn’t going to use it all — er, any of it — and the okra was doomed to suffer a slow death in the crisper.

Thankfully, this English woman on YouTube, who pronounces “okra” so adorably, made freezing okra seem super simple. I sorted through the two bags, tossing out a handful that seemed sketchy, and went to work.

Ms. Brit was right. Boiling okra for three minutes, immediately placing it in an ice bath for three minutes, then drying it on the counter before sticking it in a plastic bag could not have been easier. Our okra is now stashed safely in the freezer.

Here’s hoping I remember to use it.

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Come on in, the okra’s fine

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I decided to tackle our okra first thing this week — I wasn’t sure how long it would keep and was dang curious about what it tasted like.

It seems like most recipes that call for okra are for soups and stews, which I didn’t feel would allow us to really experience its full IMG_5856flavor. Ditto with frying it. (Plus I don’t really fry stuff.) But this recipe for Roasted Okra seemed to fit the bill and was simple to boot — even simpler when I used my Trader Joe’s olive oil spray instead of drizzling olive oil over the okra pieces.

The roasted okra was a tad slimy, but not to distraction, and had an interesting flavor. We easily finished off the entire dish with grilled pork chops and patty pan squash sliced thin and fried in butter. (OK, so I do fry some things.)

CSA, hooray! Chapter 8

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I can’t believe we’re two months into CSA season. Our weekly box selection is definitely getting interesting:

  • okra
  • green bush beans
  • radishes
  • little leaf cucumbers
  • Japanese cucumber
  • zucchini
  • red Italian onion
  • tomatoes
  • Swiss chard

This week’s “what in the heck do I do with this?” veggie: Okra. I’ve never eaten it, let alone cooked with it.

Like I said, this is getting interesting.