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V Okra and Green Beans

This dish tastes even better after refrigerating overnight. The flavors blend into a wonderful taste sensation. Serve it warm or cold. This dish can also be oven-baked. Instead of simmering, lightly cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350°F. Serve it over pasta or rice; saute ground meat or sausage if desired, and then add the completed okra and beans for an easy meal. To change up the flavor, add a stem or 2 of thyme or rosemary when it begins to simmer. I added a lot of basil and parsley and topped if off with some grated parmesan cheese on each serving.

3/4 pound fresh okra, uncut
4 tablespoons olive oil
Vinegar (optional)
1 medium onion, diced
3/4 pound fresh green beans
2 large garlic cloves, crushed then chopped
1 cup water plus 2 tablespoons salt and freshly ground pepper
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
Chopped fresh basil and/or parsley

Wash okra pods, trim stems, do not remove caps. If desired soak okra in vinegar for 30 minutes to remove some of the stickiness(I did this step). Rinse well and drain. Wash beans and cut into 3 inch lengths. Combine water, tomato paste, olive oil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper in a sauce pan and mix well.

Heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Add okra and beans and additional water if necessary to almost cover vegetables.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently until vegetables are crisp-tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.