Much to SoupAddict’s surprise, she found okra in her CSA bag this past weekend. Surprised because, not having been raised with the wonders of okra, it’s not the first vegetable that springs to mind when planning dinner. So, spotting them at the bottom of the bag, SoupAddict went, “huh” and then, in keeping with SoupAddict’s go-with-the-flow philosophy, okra took its place on the weekend menu.
But with a twist. Usually breaded and fried, okra can otherwise slip-slide into sliminess, like canned asparagus. [Yuck.] Grilling, however, keeps the natural crunch of okra, while adding a summertime smokiness that goes so well with vegetables.
SoupAddict doesn’t get to pick her own okra, so she had to take what she could get. The okra-picker-outer at her CSA apparently decided any okra is better than none. Which is true of diamonds: you’ll never catch SoupAddict tossing a gift diamond over her shoulder because it’s a little cloudy. But with okra, you need to get finicky: the smaller, the better. The largest pod here was 6″ long, hard as nails, fibrous and inedible. Bad okra-picker-outer, bad!
|1||teaspoon||smoked or sweet paprika|
|1/2||teaspoon||freshly ground black pepper|
|1||tablespoon||unsalted butter, melted, or olive oil|
Preheat the grill to high.
Place the salt, paprika, sugar, coriander, black pepper, cayenne, and celery seed in a small bowl and stir to mix.
Using a flat-slided skewer, slide one pod on to the skewer through its middle. Add three more pods to the skewer in the same fashion to form a raft. Repeat with the remaining pods, 4 or 5 to a skewer. Place the okra rafts on a large plate and brush both sides with olive oil or butter. Sprinkle all sides of the rafts with the rub mixture.
When ready to cook, lay a folded strip of foil along the front edge of the grill to protect the skewers from the heat. Arrange the rafts directly over the heat. Grill the okra until nicely browned, about 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the grilled okra to a platter or plates and serve immediately.