At our Wednesday and Saturday morning Santa Rosa farmers market we have great local organic produce. Some farms aren’t certified organic, but don’t use harsh chemicals, since certification can be a long costly process for a little farm. When in doubt, I always ask, and strike up a conversation about their practices.
One of the local farms I love is Crescent Moon Farm. They aren’t certified organic, but follow those principles. I love their Armenian Striped cucumbers, yellow and green zephyr squash and sweet red lipstick bell peppers.
But this week, I found something even more gorgeous: Red Okra. I really like okra, but I generally wouldn’t use “gorgeous” and “okra” in the same sentence. The stand’s overflowing basket was other-worldly though. I bought about 1 ½ pounds and mixed in a little of the green okra.
When I got it home, I trimmed off the stem ends and sliced them into about ½ inch rounds.
Then I sauted diced onion until caramelized and added a diced heirloom tomato and the okra. The okra cooked about 8 minutes until they were tender but still a little al dente. The finished dish lost some of the vibrant red color, so I didn’t take pictures of it, but boy was it delicious! It was enough for the four of us, but I think we all could have eaten twice as much. It was so succulent, tender, sweet and savory. I just seasoned the dish with some salt and pepper and a couple tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro for brightness.
To go with the okra, I made some quinoa and a lentil dish with onions, carrots, and celery, seasoned with turmeric, black mustard seeds and sweet curry powder. I like to use red lentils since they only take about 15 minutes to cook up, and are just so delicious. I highly recommend this simple but fabulous summer recipe. Start to finish, the whole meal took about an hour to prepare.