I was lucky enough in my last CSA basket to get fresh okra.
I was not quite so lucky when it came to tomatoes... or should I say the one tomato. It was delish, but got gobbled up the first day.
So I ventured to my local grocer and ended up with decent on-the-vine tomatoes... certainly no starring role in a BLT, but definitely worth a pot of Okra-and-Tomatoes (or as the folks back home would say "Okry" and Tomatoes).
My favorite treatment for okra-and-tomatoes is to go the extra mile and roast your tomatoes first. It's simple, really... just cut in half, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper; roast in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour. The extra depth of flavor the carmelization of the natural sugars in the tomatoes adds to the dish takes it to a whole new level.
After the roasting, place your trimmed, cut okra in a pot with enough water to half-cover, topped with roasted tomatoes and stew until desired consistency (down here, you know the drill... we like traditional veggie dishes cooked, um, a little "extra"... I usually go for the shorter side for cooking veggies, but some Southern dishes really should be savored in their traditional preparation... crunchy okra is just not the way to enjoy this dish.)
Lastly, you'll notice I gild the lilly with a small sprinkling of that periennial Southern favorite...
I prefer nitrite-free, organic bacon and you should, too (IMHO). We know saturated animal fat isn't exactly a "health" food per se, but a little bit here and there isn't the root of all that ails. Nitrites, on the other hand, are well-known carcinogens that you can easily avoid by making informed grocery purchases. Whereas a little bit of bacon goes a long way toward increasing the appetite appeal of some dishes for many people, nitrites do nothing for flavor or the appeal of a dish. And for me, if it's not making my dish 1) healthier and/or 2) tastier, who needs it?
Do you avoid nitrites/nitrates?
Do you like okra? If so, what's your favorite way to prepare it?