Okra may not be something you would find on a menu in any northern restaurant, but here in the South, it shows up on just about every restaurant menu. Down here we consider okra a delicacy typically associated with gumbo. Okra can be deep fried, roasted, stir-fried, pickled and even eaten raw in salads. It’s often included in stew with other vegetables and beef, as part of a soup or even with rice.
Deep fried okra is most often served with dressing on the side. Okra gumbo is a wonderful meal to have in the South, especially in the winter months. Ingredients in okra gumbo include green peppers, celery, diced tomatoes, cooked chicken sausage, large shrimp and brown rice. Add whole wheat rolls to your meal of okra gumbo and you’ll have a southern dish fit for a king.
If you haven’t given okra much of a chance, definitely give it a try. Start by trying some gumbo. Jestine’s Kitchen, located on the corner of Meeting and Wentworth streets, makes a great okra gumbo that has made a name for itself. In fact, it’s just about as popular as the restaurant itself. So, don’t judge this veggie before you try it. You may just be pleasantly surprised.