The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Foraged Garden Mash-Up

August 18th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Posted in garden, Recipes

Odd lots from the garden make their own dish

Odd lots from the garden make their own dish

Sometimes bits of one thing or another from the garden end up creating their own dish.

As I considered a handful of okra left over from a round of pickling yesterday I wondered what else we had in the garden that might work with it for dinner. A few minutes with a pair of kitchen scissors and I had my answer, as I raided the pepper patch for several banana peppers in various stage of ripeness, a couple of bell peppers and a ripe jalapeno. Add an onion and some corn and edamame (soy beans) from the freezer, plus a chiffonade of basil, and you have a first-class vegetable side dish to go with some grilled brats.

Cut the onion and peppers into medium dice (the jalapeno chopped fine), season with salt and sweat in extra-virgin olive oil in a heavy pot until soft. Add about six large okra pods cut on an angle into 1/2-inch pieces and a 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes (or use fresh). Stir in a fistful of basil leaves cut into a chiffonade. When the okra begins to soften, add 1/2 cup corn kernels and 1/2 cup edamame.

Continue cooking, covered, until the okra is completely cooked through. Adjust seasoning, adding freshly ground black pepper if you like. The flavor of all the different peppers is intoxicating. But really, this dish could be made with anything ready to harvest in the garden. Isn’t this what summer’s all about?

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  • teachesyoungchefs

    I learned how to avoid the tendency of okra to become slimey from Cajun and Creole cuisine: Saute the sliced okra until it browns and the slime has cooked away. The carmelized okra adds another layer to the flavor profile of your dish.

    You already have the ingredients for a southern Louisiana-style dish, except for celery. For a variation, try adding a little flour (just a little!) to the hot sauteed veggies, stir over medium heat for a few minutes and add liquid (homemade chicken broth, tomato juice or water) to make a sauce. Then serve over brown rice. Nice!