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Grilled Okra

by Jane Worthington-Roth

Many local grocers have fresh okra in stock. Also known as ladies fingers, ochro or gumbo, okra is related to the mallow family and is often featured in southern cooking and Caribbean food.

I’ve never quite known what to do with okra aside from using it to thicken and give authenticity to my chicken and seafood gumbos. But my husband recently told me that he heard about grilled okra. Grilled okra? I couldn’t imagine how the pods with the sticky interiors would hold up to grilling, but I am now a convert. Grilled okra is my new favorite vegetable!

The addictively delicious grilled pods work well as a finger-food appetizer, and can be served just lightly salted, or with a creamy dipping sauce. Think of it as a new alternative to edamame pods.

The technique is simple and could barely be called a “recipe” – but here it is…

Rinse the okra pods and pat dry. Trim the stem end so that the stem is very short. Toss with a little olive oil and grill for two minutes on each side until nicely charred. Sprinkle on some sea salt, and that’s it! The result is chewy, salty and delicious. You can grill the okra pods on a rack - or on skewers - however you find them easier to turn.