Thursday, September 30, 2010

Okra Pickles

My little brother Alex is a fried okra fiend, I've never seen him not order it when its available. I like okra too, but it doesn't always shout out at me from the menu. Although I'm always jealous when I see that he's ordered some and I missed out. The rest of my family (like most) don't really care for the slimy texture. For them I would recommend the Okra Pickle, it is crisp and tangy, with a mustard and garlic flavor.

Hank's sister Larue got me hooked on these at a family function. I was pretty curious about them, since there's not many pickles I don't like. I had to try one and they were an instant hit - I think we polished off all the okra pickles on the relish tray, they were so good.

Try these and see what you think.

Okra Pickles
adapted from Putting Up by Steven Palmer Dowdney

3 lbs. okra, rinsed & stems trimmed
8 cloves garlic
4 tsp. mustard seed
1 red bell pepper*
4 c white vinegar
2 c water
6 tbsp. salt
4 pint jars

Place 2 cloves garlic and 1 tsp. mustard seed in each jar. Fill each jar with okra pointing up, place a second layer of okra pointing down. Trim if necessary to keep okra from sticking above the jar line. Slice the bell pepper in thin strips and press into the sides of each jar.
Bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil. Pour over the okra, leaving 1/2" headspace. Secure lids and rings and process for 15 minutes in a hot water bath. (see Canning Basics)

*the original recipe called for hot peppers, somehow I didn't have any around so I used a bell pepper. Either one will do.

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