|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Okra is one of those vegetables that people seem to either love or hate. If you aren't a fan, this recipe for stewed okra with tomatoes may change your mind. Bamies latheres me domata (stewed okra in tomato sauce) is a simple Greek vegetarian dish that will work well as a side or as a light entree.
The main reason people don't care for okra is because of its sliminess. Okra contains something called mucilage, a substance also present in aloe, that makes the vegetable slimy. And cooking brings out this sliminess even more. But there are ways to cut down on the slippery coating, including soaking the okra in a water-vinegar mixture before cooking, as is suggested in this recipe. Also, make sure it is completely dry before adding it to the pot.
In addition, cutting it into large pieces, bringing the okra to room temperature, and letting it sit out for an hour will allow it to dry and reduce sliminess when cooking. Keeping the okra whole is another way to lower the slime factor, as is precooking quickly at a very high heat. If you are boiling okra, a few drops of lemon or lime juice in the water will help.
- 1 1/2 pounds okra (stems trimmed)
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 8 ounces tomato sauce (or puree)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Soak the okra for at least an hour before cooking in a large bowl filled with some water, white vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt.
Drain the soaking liquid from the okra before cooking but do not rinse the pods. Dry okra well.
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant about 1 or 2 minutes.
Add the okra, tomato sauce, parsley, and water. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes depending on size. Be sure to monitor your liquid levels in the pot and add a bit of water if needed.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and serve.