July 12, 2008
I've been eating okra since I was a wee one. When you grow up in the south, it's an every day vegetable that people eat. Now that I live in California, it’s funny to see peoples faces when you say, "want some okra?" A lot of my friends haven't even tried it before. Maybe they never had the opportunity. It's not exactly a vegetable that you see on restaurant menus unless it's been deep- fried and no longer resembles a green vegetable. But when cooked simply for minimal time, it's a rich source of fiber and vitamins A and C.
Okra is in season and started popping up at the farmers' market about 3 weeks ago. The first time I saw them I actually gasped with excitement, so fond are my childhood memories of it. When I came home I steamed up a batch for 4 minutes, let them cool and Kenya and I sat there and munched away. I was kind of shocked, but he loved them. He wasn't so keen on them whole, however, so I cut up each one into several pieces for him. My husband can't stand their somewhat sticky texture (which actually has thickening properties, perfect in a dish like this), but that's what I love about them, so to each his own. Mixed in this caponata, the okra is transformed into a salsa-like dish minus the spice.