Don't Hate Okra

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Chef Tom Colicchio told The New York Times he doesn't like okra's slime. A few Kitchen readers said the same thing on last weekend's Open Thread.

All we are saying is give okra a chance.

While okra can be oozy, it also has a refreshing grassy flavor that plays perfectly with other vegetables in season now, including eggplant, sweet corn, and tomatoes.

We got home from the farmer's market with a bag full of okra on Saturday morning. Coincidentally, there was a pan of bacon grease cooling on the stove from breakfast ...

We put Bubble's suggestion from last weekend's Open Thread to work: we cut the okra into small wheels, sauteed it in the bacon grease with some onion and chopped plum tomatoes and served it over rice for a quick and simple lunch. Don't over cook your okra; about ten minutes in the sautee plan will keep it crisp and not too goopy. For more ideas about cooking with okra, check out Mental Masala. Our archive also has tips for keeping okra dry to discourage the mucilage.

Still hesitant about exploring okra? Would a well-dressed cocktail convince you? Talk O' Texas Crisp Okra Pickles make a quirky Bloody Mary garnish or special sandwich side. We bought a jar at Blue Ribbon and ate them all in one afternoon. The texture of the pickled pods and pearly seeds is addicting. The history of this small family-run business is compelling. Now we're experimenting with picking okra at home. We'll let you know how that goes.

Who's still afraid of mean, green okra? Who loves it?