Okra is a staple of southern cuisine, so it was no surprise when a big batch of it showed up in a recent CSA box. However, since I earned my cooking chops in Northern California, I was a little stumped as to what to do with it.
Then it hit me: Pickled okra! I loved picked okra as a kid. It has a nice crunch, a vinegary tang, and just a little bit of a spicy kick to it.
It was very easy to put together with ingredients I had on hand, although I did have to substitute coriander seed for the dill seed called for by the recipe.
The reviews were unanimously glowing. I gave cans away to my sister-in-law and a friend of mine who came to visit us recently, and they both loved it. I think the coriander seed was a fine substitution, and gave it just a little bit of a twist, which, in my book, is always a good thing.
So here’s to enjoying summer okra all winter long!
Adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
3 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
1/3 cup pickling or canning salt
2 tsp coriander seeds
3 1/2 lbs small whole okra pods, washed and trimmed
4 cloves garlic
2 small serrano peppers, stems removed, halved lengthwise and seeded
Prepare your canner, jars, and lids. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, pickling salt, and coriander seeds. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the salt. Reduce heat to low and keep hot until ready to use.
Pack the okra into hot jars to within a generous 1/2-inch headspace of the top of the jar. Put one clove of garlic and 1/2 pepper in each jar. Ladle the hot pickling liquid into the jars to cover the okra, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe the rims and center the lids on the jars. Screw the rings on until fingertip tight.
Place the jars in the canner, making sure they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove the canner lid and wait 5 minutes. Remove the jars, cool and store.