Okra lovers and haters, rejoice. Grilled okra with spicy sumac seasoning salt is an untraditional and finger lickin’ good recipe that will make you fall in love with okra all over again, or, for the very first time.
Okra is rarely described as addictive. All it takes, though, is a few minutes on a hot grill and a tart and spicy seasoning salt to transform okra into finger food that will fly off the table. Crispy, salty, spicy veggies hot off the grill are better than a bowl of chips, any day. Set them out as an appetizer or snack and eat as many as you like without worrying about spoiling your dinner or your waistline.
Bell pepper and zucchini strips, asparagus, green beans, carrots, even cucumbers, can be thrown on the grill. A grilling basket (or skewers) will keep the veggies from falling through the grates. Olive oil or coconut oil, salt, cayenne and your favorite spices add the finger lickin’ flavor.
Grilling is a really easy way to prepare okra and cuts down on the slime factor. The outside is nicely charred and the fresh, moist middle is a pleasant contrast. Although it’s really the bold, tart flavor of ground sumac blended with thyme, cayenne and salt that transform okra into a killer snack.
This spice blend is similar to za’atar, a Middle Eastern seasoning that also contains toasted sesame seeds and a variety of different herbs. The flavor of sumac is tart and lemony. In addition to thyme, sumac is often blended with cumin, oregano and marjoram (fresh or dried). Play around to find the combination you like best then keep a jar in the kitchen for seasoning not only veggies, but lamb and beef as well.
Servings: 2 to 4, as a snack or appetizer
Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (15 ml)
1 teaspoon sumac* (5 ml)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (a pinch)
3/4 teaspoon salt (3.70 ml)
1 tablespoon olive oil (15 ml)
*Look for sumac in the spice aisle of specialty foods stores or Middle Eastern markets
Prepare grill for high heat.
In a small bowl, mix together the thyme, sumac, cayenne and salt.
Trim off the little stems on the end of the okra pods (optional).
In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil over the okra and use your hands to toss until the okra is evenly coated.
Sprinkle the seasoning blend over the okra, tossing the okra with your hands again to evenly coat.
Put the okra in a grilling basket or skewer the pods to keep them from falling through the grill grates.
Grill the okra un-covered until nicely charred, about 4 to 6 minutes on each side.
Serve the okra hot off the grill or soon afterward. When refrigerated, leftover grilled veggies quickly become soggy.