Even in the hottest, driest Summer months when all other crops begin to wither and droop, okra (indigenous to Africa) continues to flourish and produce. Once regarded as strictly a Southern vegetal, vitamin-rich okra has increasingly gained national distinction for its unique flavor and texture.
Sprightly green okra pods embody the taste of summer. When combined with spices and a light vinegar brine, these crunchy, quintessentially Southern pickles are part and parcel of a fine old culinary heritage. The perfectly balanced, sweet-sour flavors and characteristic textures complement everything from charcuterie and cheese to a well-dressed hot dog.
Zippy okra pickles also make a fabulous addition to vodka martinis and Bloody Marys. The chili peppers give these okra pickles a pleasant kick. If you prefer spicier pickles, add another chili or two to each jar.
1 pound fresh okra, stems trimmed
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 chili pepper, fresh or dried (I used one habanero)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, cracked
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 whole cloves
2 cup cider vinegar
2 cup water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Wash and sterilized jars and set aside. Rinse okra and trim stems. Pack jars with okra, garlic, chili pepper, peppercorns, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and cloves.
In a large pot over high heat, combine vinegar, water, kosher salt, and sugar and bring to a boil. Ladle the hot brine over the okra and then seal the jar. Allow jar to sit for a minimum of 1 week to marry the flavors before using. Refrigerate the pickles after opening (if there are any left!)
Denise and Dom Romeo are food bloggers who enjoy spending time together doing what they love best: cooking and entertaining! Follow their food adventures on their award winning blog; We Like To Cook! at www.welike2cook.com.