“Up North” Okra

WIN_20150723_184859I try to grow okra in my Up North garden every summer. Once in a while I get lucky and pick a few sparse cups of this delicious, versatile veggie. Most summers, well… trying to grow okra Up North is a bit like trying to grow rhubarb Down South. Some plants just know when they’re a long way from home!

WIN_20150723_175741Lucky for me, I have a brother-in-law Down South with a garden the size of a small farm. He’s generous in sharing vegetables (and I think he’s more than a little amused by my tiny okra plants). Whenever I am gifted with okra from Down South, I try different cooking techniques. Southern cooking is a mystery to me.

So, what’s an Up North gal to do?


In this recipe, we’re treating okra the same way I would treat eggplant strips or calamari. The result is tender on the inside, lightly crunchy on the outside, pleasantly seasoned, and very low in fat. Topped with a bit of parmesan cheese and red sauce, these little okra bites are fabulous. Try something new today!

WIN_20150723_180620Ingredients (Makes 4 – 6 side dish servings)

4 cups fresh okra, sliced into bite size pieces

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

WIN_20150723_1810091 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 cup of red sauce (such as Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce) for dipping


Step 1) Coat a baking pan with shallow sides using 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil.

Step 2) Pour beaten egg over okra pieces and toss with a fork to coat evenly.

Step 3) Sprinkle cornmeal, salt, and paprika over okra. Toss with a fork to coat evenly.

Step 4) Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Turn okra over with a spatula after 15 minutes.

Step 5) Transfer okra to a serving plate. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese while still hot. Serve with red sauce.