Also known as “lady fingers”, okra has always been a bit of a mystery to me. The texture, the sliminess, the odd shape? The first time I actually enjoyed eating okra was at an Indian restaurant in Ithaca, NY. Bhindi Masala. Yum! A few things I and maybe you didn’t know about okra: (1) it may/or may not (depending on your peer reviewed sources) provide some benefits for those with diabetes. “Okra has been used in some traditional cultures for generations to help stabilize blood sugar levels.” Curious… That being said, all the modern studies where the theory was tested on rodents used okra powder/seeds or soaked okra in water. Okra water? Eww. Ok, for another fun okra fact, (2) “in Louisiana, the Créoles learned from slaves the use of okra (gumbo) to thicken soups and it is now an essential in Créole Gumbo.” 🙂
Walking around the Durham Farmers’ Market it is evident that the peak season for okra in central North Carolina is right now. Every farmer and their neighbor is peddling lady fingers as of late. Last Saturday morning I gave in to the beautiful mixed display of green and red okra harvested from Ever Laughter Farm located nearby in Hillsborough, NC. The best thing about a mixture is the pretty purple brine the okra produces.
- 2 pints okra (smaller the better)
- 1 habanero pepper
- 2-1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 3/4 Tbsp whole peppercorns
- 1-1/2 tsp of minced garlic
- 3 tsp dill seed
- 3/4 tsp mustard seed
- In a medium-sized, non-ionized pot combine water, vinegar, salt, and peppercorns. Bring brine to a boil.
- Meanwhile pack the okra and the remainder of your ingredients into 3 pint jars.
- Pour brine mixture over okra (covering okra completely).
- Cap jars, and store in fridge for at least 2 weeks before consuming.