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.