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« Too Many Tomatoes | Main | Returning to My Roots: A Visit to a Living History Kona Coffee Farm »

Quick Pickled Okra

By Katie Barreira

Pickles are all the rage and I couldn’t be happier. The tangy, juicy crunch of a pickle makes a perfect companion to some of our most iconic meals, but pickles aren’t just for cheeseburgers or pastrami sandwiches and cucumbers aren’t the only things you can pickle.

Making a rousing comeback are small stores like The Pickle Guys, in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, which preserves the traditional Eastern European style of pickling, along with barrels of half sours, green tomatoes and garlic cloves.

And while the Pickle Guys keep old-fashioned Koshers in style, hip chefs like Spike Mendelsohn (of The Good Stuff Eatery in Washington, D.C.) are serving classic beef burgers with a side of kimchi slaw, a creamy-sauced chop of Korea’s signature brine fermented condiment. Thanks be to the pickling revolution for bringing all of these fabulous pickling traditions to the table!

Gourmet food stores are also carrying a variety of artisanal pickles, of which my personal favorite are Rick’s Picks Smokra, whole okra pickled in a sweet and smoky paprika brine. So, when I saw some in season okra at the market this weekend, I set out to make some’smokra for myself.

The easiest way to do pickles at home is to make, what I like to call, quickles. Quick pickles are a simple combo of pickling solution (salt, vinegar, sometimes sugar and some seasonings) and whatever lucky ingredient you feel like pickling. These fresh pickles have to be kept in the refrigerator and last about 10 days, but by then they’ll be long gone!

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Smokey Okra Quickles
These crisp-tender spears are addictive right out of the jar. Serve them with cocktails or in one; they’re the perfect addition to a bloody mary or substitute for olives in a dirty martini.

1 cup distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
3 cloves crushed garlic
¾ lb. okra, stem ends trimmed

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except okra with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar, about 5 minutes.
  2. Divide the okra among glass jars (or any heatproof container with tight fitting lid) and ladle the hot pickling liquid over top. Let cool at room temperature for about ten minutes, then close and refrigerate. Allow okra to pickle for at least 24 hours and give them a shake when you think of it.

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Reader Comments (1)

November 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlederm

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