As I mentioned, we're having a successful first year with okra in the garden. It doesn't mind the drought, but pretty much everything else does. Here's a quick, easy recipe for a weeknight side of fried okra. It's not the battered fried okra you may be used to, but it is still yummy! I got this recipe from an old Southern Living cookbook called The Southern Heritage of Vegetables Cookbook, copyright 1983. Many (most?) of the recipes are heavy on dairy and meat ingredients, but the antique photos, seed advertisements, and sentiments make it worth my time nonetheless.
1 lb. okra, cleaned (NOTE: It is best to cook with okra that is no more than about 3 inches in length. Larger pods usually have a woody, tough texture.)
3/4 c. cornmeal
1/2 t. salt
Cut okra crosswise into 1/2-inch slices, discarding stems. Set aside.
Combine cornmeal and salt, mixing well, then put the mixture into a small brown paper bag. Add the okra, close the bag, and shake to coat the okra. (Don't worry. The okra's sticky juices will make this easy!) Remove the okra from the bag and cook in 1/2 inch oil over high heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. Serves 3-4 as a side dish.
This is good with an old-fashioned Southern veggie plate of mashed potatoes, stewed beans, sliced and salted tomatoes, and cornbread. YUM!