Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Every week, we enjoy listening to Evan Kleiman's show Good Food on KCRW, which always starts off with Laura Avery giving us the weekly scoop of what's fresh at the farmer's market, and chatting with chefs about what they're cooking with the farm-fresh produce. This week, she chatted with chef Chris Harbrant of Axe, who was buying okra. Like most people, I've never been a big fan of okra. I'd noticed it in the last few weeks at one of my regular stands at the Hollywood farmer's market, but passed it up. When I heard what Chris was doing with it, though, I thought I should give it a try. He was making a succotash with it. He blanches the okra for a few minutes, and then adds it to sauteed onions, then tosses in fresh sweet corn and diced tomatoes, some chopped basil leaves, and sautees a few minutes longer. It sounded intriguing, and I've been getting some really fleshy and flavorful heirloom tomatoes lately, as well as sweet corn, and a friend in the office has been bringing me onions from her garden, so it seemed a perfect expression of the season. It was quite simple to prepare it while I had the chicken in the oven this evening. My husband eyed me suspiciously when he saw the okra, but he admitted liking the finished product, as did I. Yeah, the okra is a little slimy, but it has a nice crunch if not overcooked, and complimented nicely in flavor and texture with the corn, tomatoes, and onions. We'll definitely do that one again.