Okay, so maybe I’ve gone a little okra-crazy lately. ‘Tis the season, though, at least here in the South. While I mourn the loss of most of my tomato plants* and plan to plant my own okra next spring, our CSA continues to provide us with plenty of okra goodness, and I’m just loving experimenting with it.
* Two to mites and leaf-footed bugs, and all but one more to what is likely just the weather being too hot to allow any more fruit to form. Bugger. At least my Sun Golds are still doing well!
I found inspiration via FoodJoy recently in a tomato and okra stew served over polenta. Much as it pained me to open one of my precious jars of tomato sauce, it was perfect for this project, and it made for an oh-so-easy weeknight dinner.
This was just the change of pace we needed around here!
Okra in Tomato Sauce with Creamy Polenta
Inspired by this recipe from FoodJoy
1 pint jar of tomato sauce**
1/2 lb okra
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup milk
4 Tbs unsalted butter
Bring the tomato sauce to a simmer. Wash and trim the okra and cut it crosswise into slices. Add the okra, along with the crushed red pepper and salt to taste, to the tomato sauce. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the okra is tender.
Meanwhile, make the polenta. Bring the water to boil in a medium saucepan. Salt the water generously and then gradually stir in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, cheese, and milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the okra and tomato mixture atop or on the side of a generous helping of the polenta.
** Or just make your own tomato sauce by milling and cooking down a few fresh, delicious tomatoes, if you’re lucky enough to have them.