When I say “okra” I bet you think “ewww.” As it may have benefits for people with diabetes, you may want to reconsider. Make a pot of this okra stew and see what you think.
When we visited the Conetoe Family Life Center’s community garden, the Grillmaster learned about okra. For example:
- Okra, like the tomato, is a fruit, not a vegetable.
- Okra plants are tall and have gorgeous flowers.
- The best-tasting okra is picked when it’s about 3 inches long and is plump and green.
- If okra is longer than 5 or 6 inches, you can pick it and save it for seeds, but it won’t be good to eat.
The amazing folks at Conetoe sent us home with a bag full of okra. At first I thought I was going to make a nice vegetarian side dish that was basically okra, onions, and tomatoes. Then I found some andouille sausage and shrimp in the freezer and I couldn’t resist throwing them in to make a gumbo-like okra stew. The “goo” in okra makes a great thickener, which is why it’s perfect in stews.
If you don’t have fresh oregano and want to use dried instead, add about a teaspoon when you add the tomatoes.
I’m guessing you think you don’t like okra. If you can pick up some fresh at a farmers’ market, I encourage you to give it another try in this okra stew.
Okra Stew with Shrimp and Andouille
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 large onion halved then cut into thick slices
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound okra ends trimmed, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 4 cups canned chopped tomatoes with juice
- 1 cup water
- 2 links pre-cooked buffalo andouille sausage, sliced into medium-thick rounds
- 1/2 pound raw medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
- Chopped parsley
Put 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add onions, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until onion softens and is beginning to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a plate.
Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and stir in okra. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the okra begins to brown a little bit, then add garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes or so. Return onion to pot and add tomatoes and water. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and stir well.
Bring mixture to a boil, the lower heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, until okra is tender and sauce has thickened.
Stir in sausage and shrimp. Cook just until shrimp turn opaque and sausage is heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with oregano and parsley.
Watching sodium? Skip the added salt and use less sausage and shrimp. This will reduce the cholesterol and fat as well.