Simple Roasted Okra
Whether you’re a lover or a hater of the South’s favorite slimy vegetable, I think you should give this a shot. Roasted za’atar okra is crunchy from a high heat oven and flavorful with the elements of one of my favorite spice blends.
Za’atar is a middle Eastern staple made with sumac, sesame seeds, thyme and sea salt. I add it to salads, roast chicken, hummus and almost any roasted vegetable. Nutty, lemony and salty, it adds an instant boost.
My friend Rita (who bottles one of my favorite olive oil‘s from her family’s land in Lebanon) recently brought me a bottle of her za’atar. I’ve been roasting okra on repeat lately and needed a change, and the za’atar came in mighty handy. A very generous sprinkling of the spice mix woke up the flavor and brought the vegetables to life.
We had these tasty morsels as an out-of-hand snack, but you could also serve them with a bowl of herbed yogurt sauce as an appetizer or as a vegetable side. If you’re in Houston, head to the Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market in July to pick up a recipe card for this seasonal favorite. And last but not least, my kids took these photos and I couldn’t be more proud of their budding skills (and interest). They could sure save me a lot of money on food photography if this continues.
Roasted Za'atar Okra
Yield 1 pound
Roasted okra is less slimy in texture than stewed or sautéed okra, and it gets a tasty crunch. Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made with thyme, sumac, sesame seeds and sea salt. If you want to switch up the flavor, substitute Cajun seasoning for a spicy alternative to the za’atar. If the za’zatar blend you’re using doesn’t contain salt, you’ll need to add a sprinkling of kosher salt or sea salt.
1 pound okra
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons za’atar
Fresh ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Rinse the okra and dry very well. They should be completely dry before using.
- Slice the okra in half lengthwise. Place in a medium size mixing bowl with the olive oil, za’atar and pepper.
- Transfer to a foil- or parchment paper-lined sheetpan. Make sure the okra is in a single layer with some space in between so they crisp up in the oven.
- Roast for about 20 minutes (perhaps longer depending how roasted you prefer them). Give the pan a shake half way through the cooking time. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Courses Side Dish