Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Curry okra and green tomato pickle

A couple months ago, before the tomatoes were really getting good, I accidentally knocked a few off the vine trying to get to my beans or something. These were my first tomatoes, so I valued each one like my firstborn and I brought them in, even though they were just green. I could try to let them ripen on the counter, I guessed.

I also had a dozen or so baby okra with which I was smitten. They were 2 inches long, all covered with velvety lanugo, and I couldn't bear to cook them, such was their effect on the maternal parts of my limbic system. I'd seen Marc at No Recipes do a smoked paprika okra pickle (inspired by the artisanal pickles of one Rick), and remembered crunchy pickled okra is such a wonderful thing. Since okra is a vegetable enjoyed in Indian cuisine, I figured some curry and chili wouldn't hurt it.

I tucked the cherubic okra into the jar with some sliced onion, garlic and red chili, and tipped in some peppercorns, mustard and coriander seeds, and a bay leaf or two. There was still so much room in the jar - I looked around and saw the green tomatoes on the counter and the lightbulb went off. I sliced them into thick wedges and slid them into the jar.

I heated up some regular white vinegar with salt, a bit of sugar (just enough to take the edge off the heat, not enough to taste), and a nice spoonful of curry powder. I added a splash of water to balance the acidity, and poured it over the vegetables. Lid and back of the fridge, cut to last week.


I pulled them out of the fridge last week and gave a taste. Oh, man, these are a thing. Just straight from the jar, or dipped in hot sauce, if you really want a spanking. Fortunately, I prefer the green tomato over the okra as a pickle, because I have shitloads of them, and they're free. Oh, the okra is good, don't get me wrong - I just like the crunchy green tomato more.

I can't wait to see how these go with a Bloody Mary - maybe one of my jars of homemade tomato sauce will get turned to Bloody Mary mix?

26 comments:

Emiline said...

Fine! I removed the maple leaf. You can be so critcal! But you're right - I'm not Canadian, and I have no right to display the maple leaf on my header. :) I don't know, I didn't like it in the first place.

Pickled green tomatoes and okra sound great. I love and have eaten okra all my life. You should fry some now! Or maybe it's all gone.

Oh, and the Conan-sex thing is funny. He really is sexy!

Heather said...

Em - I told you I was joking! You can be so sensitive. I have some frozen okra. I like to toss it in cornmeal and fry it like popcorn. It's so good with hot sauce.

Brittany said...

You describe your okra so beautifully, I just wanna press it to my bosom..."Cherubic Okra"...I love that.

Oh- and I'll take one of those Bloody Marys....

Foodycat said...

Well, that's what I can do with my last few green tomatoes then!

I have recently got into crispy fried chilli okra at an Indian restaurant. It is good.

Peter G said...

This is an inventive way to eat okra...the greeks slather them in a tomato/vinegar sauce but I could def give this curry version a go! The tomatoes look great too!

kittie said...

I've only eaten okra twice. And hated it... it was all slimy and gunky. But you make it sound good - I love the sound of fried with hot sauce...

Maybe time to give okra another chance?!

glamah16 said...

Damn that sounds good.

Heather said...

Brittany - It's just so cute and fuzzy!

Foodycat - I have a few other uses for green tomatoes, but this one seems like the best so far.

Petah - Tomato-vinegar sauce sounds good, too. :)

Kittie - It definitely gets that way, but it's not slimy raw. And the cornmeal coating on fried okra hides the mucilage.

Courtney - I bet CS would like it too. Germans love their pickles.

Lo said...

Hells bells! You've done it again. I love the curry/chile combo.
And you've got me thinking seriously about that bloody mary idea... a bit of that "cherubic" okra swimming in the vast tomato sea.

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Wow Heather I can't wait to pickle some of my green tomatoes!!! Love the bloody Mary idea too...

We Are Never Full said...

my mouth is watering and puckering thinking of the flavor. love this idea!!

SweetBites said...

hi. just visited ur wonderful site.
i luv anything that's pickled ur green tomat pickle make me drool. its easy to get green tomates here & i will try pickleing them.

Peter M said...

I love okra & don't understand thoe who don't...pickling sounds groovy, missy.

Heather said...

this looks so good! i've never really experimented with okra. I need to, i've always liked it at restaurants! i love green tomatoes!

peter said...

I like the curry idea. To date, I haven't found anything from the garden that doesn't pickle beautifully. But I didn't grow okra. And the tomatoes are done; we had our first fromst a couple of nights ago and I ripped all the vines up and composted them.

Brittany said...

I have never ever had fresh okra before, only frozen or (gag) canned, so I am amazed hot delicious it looks! It's not really grown in my area, but I would love to try it!

Jeremy said...

Heather,
Me Jeremy again, gosh I love okra but when I worked for the Generals mess in Stuttgart Germany we had such an awful name for those things I almost busted out laughing while reading your lovely post,forgive me!

Heather said...

Lo - I bet it would kick ass.

Judy - Not that you have to beat a frost, but yeah, it's a nice use of green ones. :)

Amy - I bet some garlicky lavash or spicy nuts would be just the thing to make this perfect beer snack food.

Sweetbites - You should! They're really easy.

Peter the Greek - I don't like it cooked too much, but the Japanese love it slimy. The rawer the better, imo.

Heather - You can usually find it frozen sliced, but when it's fresh it's so nice.

Jube - That's the first typo I've ever seen you make. Our frost is right around the corner! I'm hoping I can nab the rest of the green toms before it comes.

Brittany - Canned okra sounds like the stuff what nightmares are made of. I think the frozen stuff is best fried.

Jeremy - The shape of an okra pod has never been lost on me. ;)

SOUP OF THE DAY said...

Excellent!

I've never tried pickling anything. Your recipe sounds easy enough though... no mason jars and tongs.

Thanks for sharing, I'll definitely pickle something now!

Lisa-Marie said...

I have now words for how good this looks and sounds! but i thought I'd post to say it looks and sounds really good anyway!

cook eat FRET said...

very interesting...

i'm cool with okra, but i'm not a big picked stuff kinda gal. i'll eat it - because i will eat anything - but i don't crave vinegary things...

cookiecrumb said...

Yay.
Hot pickled okra.
Lanugo.
Fromst.
Yay.

Anonymous said...

Oooh! Oooh! OOOOOH! Pickled stuff is my favorite. I just made a batch of spicy garlic fridge dills mahself...and am (way too) anxiously awaiting the day I can dive in. Bloody mary heaven. Have you tried pickled green beans? Very Yum.

canarygirl said...

Um, DUH...I forgot to enter my deets and showed up as anonymous...It's me, cg in the comment above.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Lookin good. I'm totally gonna have to try the pickled green tomato thing! Thanks for the link:-)

Lisa-Marie said...

Hi! This lovely post inspired me to pickle some things. Alas okra is really hard to get in Scotland, so i used yellow toms, baby red toms and green peppers, with a few baby onions thrown in.

Question though, how long does your picklage keep? Assuming that you don't eat it all in the first 2 days!