Stewed Okra and Tomatoes
It is very possible that our Jewish and African ancestors ate okra thousands of years ago, as it is believed to have been cultivated in ancient Egyptian times. Today, okra is underappreciated, probably because it looks funny, people don’t know how to cook it and, if they do, it can end up kind of slimy. However, I relish its finger-like shape, geometric pattern when sliced and slight firmness when not overcooked. There are several ways to avoid the sliminess. If stewing, include something acidic, like tomatoes, or dry roast in the oven. The next time you make a traditional brisket or chicken, serve some okra and tomatoes alongside it, and reflect on the partnership, love of cooking and heritage (and frugality!) shared by Jewish and African-American cooks.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 3 cups (¾ pound) okra, sliced
- 14½-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- ¾ cup chicken or vegetable broth
- In a medium pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another few minutes until onions are soft. Add okra, tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.