Farmers Market Recipe: Slime-Free Okra Creole

Farmers Market Recipe: Slime-Free Okra Creole

I, like many people, was immediately thrown off okra the first time I tried it. It was stewed, maybe even from a can, and the slimy consistency made me want to gag. For years I put off okra as one of those “gross” vegetables – until I happened upon pickled okra (probably in a Bloody Mary). I never knew okra could be so delicious! Crisp skin, little flavor seed bombs – I was hooked. And I wondered, how could I make an okra dish taste this good?

So I tried, recipe after recipe. Some said the acidity of tomatoes will cut down the slime, others swear that you need lemon juice to do the trick. I have found a splash of apple cider vinegar to be the secret to a truly slime-free okra dish. Finishing off in the oven gives a nice crisp texture and helps to cut back the acidic bite. You might add a bit of honey, too. We just add a couple spicy peppers, such as cayenne or tabasco. PS, this is a great recipe to pull out the cast-iron skillet!

Day’s harvest at Sam’s Sprouts

Okra is all the rage at the Covington Farmers Market these days! Check out this bountiful harvest from Sam’s Sprouts!


high-heat cooking oil
1-2 # fresh okra, sliced 1/4 inch, tops removed
1/2 medium yellow onion, rough chop
2 – 3 medium creole tomatoes, diced
2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dark chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar (Braggs is awesome)
Juice of 1/2 lemon, about 1 1/2 Tbs
Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper
Optional: a tablespoon of honey, a couple hot red peppers or pepper flakes


Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Heat a large oven-proof skillet on high, add enough oil to lightly cover the pan. The trick here is to keep this dish as dry as possible by cooking off liquids. A good flash sear on the okra first will do it.

adding onions to lightly seared okra

When the skillet is hot (drop of water sizzling away hot) toss in okra with a little salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, then add onions. Saute until onions are tender, then add tomato, garlic, herbs, spices and apple cider vinegar. If you are adding hot peppers, do so now. Mix evenly with a little more salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for 5 – 10 minutes, until vinegar has absorbed and tomatoes have cooked down.

Toss in lemon juice and pop it in the oven. Roast for 10 – 15 minutes – until okra and tomato tops begin to get crispy and a good bit of the liquid has evaporated. If you are adding honey, toss in now and let cool slightly before serving.