Red Velvet Okra Summer Meal

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.

Crescent Moon Farm

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.

Red Okra

When I got it home, I trimmed off the stem ends and sliced them into about ½ inch rounds.

Sliced Okra

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.

7 thoughts on “Red Velvet Okra Summer Meal”

  1. Hello there, I noticed the name of your blog and wondered if you had a look at my recent grilled fig post? If not, check it out I think you would enjoy it. BWT, beatuful photos!

  2. Hi –

    Sounds wonderful! I hope I can find someone growing this out in the cold, cold midwest, but somehow I doubt it.

    With regard to the color issue in the finished dish, I wonder if you might add a little hibiscus infusion with the tomatoes; since okra is a type of hibiscus plant, the flavors and colors should harmonize nicely, and I know from experience that the vivid color stands up well to heat.

  3. Trying this tonight…sounds delish! Thanks for posting your recipe and other thoughts about red okra. It was gifted to us, so I’ll be saving some seeds for next year. Anyone have tips on growing okra?

  4. Hi Elaine ~ We grew okra in the San Francisco north bay area one summer. It was easy, tall plants with gorgeous flowers…like mini hollyhocks. Our challenge was slugs / snails that decimated the leaves, weakening the plants, so we didn’t get any fruits (okras). My advice? Use Sluggo or some other non-toxic, effective snail bait w/o fail.

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