It’s the tail end of okra season, and I came across some beauties — tender, bright green, and not too big – on the very day I saw Kitchen Repertoire’s latest: Simple Dal with Roast Okra. Being both lazy and busy, I opted to make just the okra, which is dead-simple and totally delish, with some of the crisp-chewy satisfactions of a French fry. Having no garam masala, I used curry powder. Next time, I might used rendered bacon fat instead of olive oil for a smoky undertone…
It’s the method that is compelling. It works just fine with tender Delicata squash, ends cut off, pits scooped out and discarded, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.
Arrange on the hot pan in a single layer, and turn once when the bottom is caramelized. Cook a total of 20 to 25 minutes to let the second side get crisp, brown and candy like.
Here’s the recipe for this Indian Summer weekend, or for when you find a trove of okra from another time zone in your market. If you’d like to make Kitchen Repertoire’s lovely menu of Dal, Roast Okra and Brown Rice, you’ll find recipes here. (They’re by Frances Boswell, so you know they’ll be good.)
Recipe: Roasted Okra with Curry or Garam Masala
Since end-of-season okra can get a bit stringy, chose pods 4-inches long and under. You can scale the recipe up or down.
1 pound fresh okra
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/4 ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 scant teaspoon garam masala or curry powder
Turn the oven to 425’F; set a baking sheet in the oven while it preheats at least 15 minutes.
Combine the okra, olive oil, salt, pepper and garam masala in a large bowl and toss well to coat. Toss the seasoned okra onto the hot baking sheet in a single layer; it should sizzle on contact. Roast, shaking once or twice, until the okra is both crisp and tender, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and serve.
With thanks to Frances Boswell and Dana Gallagher for the lovely Kitchen Repertoire!