Stewed Okra and Tomatoes Creole Style
There’s a reason why the Southern dish of stewed okra and tomatoes is timeless. It’s just plain good. First you start with browning some bacon, then you add the holy trinity—onions, bell pepper, and celery, then the tomatoes, okra and spices. Everything is cooked together until tender and almost falling apart.
Okra is a summer vegetable so we are seeing it in the farmer’s market right now. But you can get frozen okra all year round which is perfectly fine stewed like this. If you don’t have access to okra at all, you can prepare green beans in a similar manner (see recipe).
Do you have a favorite summer okra dish? Please let us know about it in the comments. I love okra and am always looking for ways to cook with it.
You can use either whole or thickly sliced okra for this recipe.
Obviously we believe this dish is best with bacon, but if you don't eat bacon or want to make a vegetarian dish, leave it out and use a tablespoon or two of olive oil instead.
- 2 ounces bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch wide slices (lardons)
- 1 cup diced onion (about 1 medium onion)
- 1 cup diced bell pepper (about 1 bell pepper)
- 1/2 cup diced celery (about one rib)
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic (about 1 clove)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 15-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes and their juices
- 1 pound (16-ounces) of frozen or fresh okra, whole or thickly sliced, trimmed of tough tops if whole, defrosted if frozen
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 pinch of cayenne
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 scant pinch of ground cloves (watch it on the ground cloves, a little goes a long way, and you can easily overdo it!)
- 1/2 cup water
1 Place the bacon lardons in a thick-bottomed pot (3 or 4 quart). Heat on medium and cook until the bacon is lightly browned and much of the fat has rendered out.
2 Once bacon has browned, add the onions, celery, and bell pepper. The bacon should have rendered enough fat to cook the vegetables, but if not, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. Cook over medium high heat until onions, celery, and bell peppers are lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
3 Add the tomatoes, okra, and salt to the pot. Add the black pepper, cayenne, thyme, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup of water. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
Add more salt and pepper to taste.