Homemade pickled okra

The homemade ones are better.

Buy okra at the market today and make this.

Nearly everything is good pickled, but few things are better than pickled okra. At its best, pickled okra offers a snappy skin, creamy interior and bright dill and sour flavors. Even okraphobes could get on board with this one. It’s perfect for Bloody Mary’s but should be on more charcuterie plates as well.

Store-bought varieties – all I’ve had in past – are good. But I wondered if I could do it better. I found this easy-seeming recipe on Cooks.com, picked up a few pints of okra from the farmers market and whipped up a batch. Beyond the waiting – five weeks! – it wasn’t difficult at all.

The other night I unscrewed the lid of the first jar and tasted alongside a store-bought jar from Talk O’ Texas (available at Schnucks). Texas’ weren’t bad, and were favored by one of the four assembled tasters (which consisted of Mrs. SMEs, myself and the kiddos). But homemade won with both adults and the 3 year-old, so there. They were a little brighter-tasting and slightly crunchier. There was no heat in mine because I used the pathetic wastlings from my garden instead of real peppers. It wasn’t a blind tasting for me, so the slight chemical flavor I picked up in the commercial okra may have been imagined, but probably not. Altogether a real success. Recipe after the jump.

4 or 4 1/2 lbs. sm. okra pods
7 cloves garlic
7 hot peppers
7 tsp. dill seeds
1 qt. vinegar
1 c. water
1/2 c. pickling salt
Wash okra well. Drain and set aside. Place 1 clove garlic and 1 hot pepper into each of 7 hot sterilized pint jars. Pack jars firmly with okra, leaving 1/2 inch head space; add 1 teaspoon dill seed to each. Combine vinegar, water, and salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil and pour over okra. Screw metal bands on tightly. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Let pickles stand at least 5 weeks before opening. This is really hot. You may want to cut the amount of spices used.

Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

One thought

  1. I can eat okra fried or in soups, but I cannot stand pickled okra. My grandmother is in her 90s now and getting fairly senile, but she still teases me about how much I hated “furry pickles” when I was younger!

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