Recently I attended a really fun event at South End Farmer’s Market called Mater Dames, where 5 local females chefs paired up with 5 local farmers and prepared some delicious tomato dishes. While there, and talking to Coldwater Creek Farms , I saw they had the most beautiful, purple okra!!! The farmer told me right away, she loves to oven roast these heirloom okra pods.
If you’re anything like me, I see a super cool vegetable or product and feel like I HAVE to take it home and try it. Luckily, it was for sale. I also learned the coolest stories about this purple okra. (Bonus of buying local and talking to the farmers!) She said that this particular okra also died, but the farmer sold him the last of her seeds. These okra are the right size for eating, but you want to let them grow to a foot or so if you want to harvest the seeds. In order to do that, you have to wait until almost Christmas growing them. When you split the okra for the seeds, it spreads out and the bottom and makes for a great Christmas ornament, so this family always decorates their tree with heirloom okra pods! (Love that story!)
The bonus of this recipe is that it is SUPER simple! You just have to heat the oven to at least 425 degrees (that’s what keeps the okra purple and not turning green), olive oil, season, bake and you’re all set with your oven roasted heirloom okra!
Pairs well with New Orleans BBQ Shrimp
1 lb okra pods
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste (I like to use a pinch of cayenne or a fun seasoning mix.)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. (It’s really important to make sure it’s this hot for this oven roasted heirloom okra. If headed lower, which will still cook it well, will change the color to green, instead of staying purple.)
Toss okra with olive oil and season. Arrange on baking sheet.
Bake about 10-15 minutes until okra has started to tenderize and crispy on the outside.
Serve warm. (I Recommend with the New Orleans BBQ Shrimp.)