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Pickled Okra

TIME: 20 MINUTES (not including canning time); SERVES: 4 PINTS
Adapted from Linda Ziedrich’s, The Joy of Pickling

Okra is one of my favorite veggies that we grow (it is our logo, after all). I love okra in all different forms: grilled, roasted, raw, and of course, pickled!

These are fun to pull out at a dinner party in the middle of winter, or give as gifts throughout the season. Most people know okra for its mucilaginous qualities—careful not to cut past the stem and into the pod (where the goo lives), or else the brine will thicken and become very unappetizing. It’s also important to use fresh, smaller okra. Large okra can be tough and fibrous—another unpleasant surprise when chomping on a pickle. It’s best to buy okra at a farmers market, or grow your own! Okra doesn’t keep for more than a few days, so stray away from okra with black or brown spots and soft stems. You want green, crisp pods for the best pickles.

INGREDIENTS

4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
4 small dried or fresh hot peppers (red and yellow varieties are pretty)
4 lemon slices
4 tsp. pickling spice, or a mix of: dill seed, mustard seed, bay leaves (crushed), coriander seed, black peppercorns, allspice, cloves
1 quart water
1 quart apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
1/4 cup kosher salt (non-iodized)

METHOD

  1. Divide the garlic, lemon, peppers, and spices evenly between 4 sterilized pint jars.

  2. Trim the stems from the okra, but do not cut into the pod itself. Stuff the okra into the jars.

  3. Mix the water, vinegar, and salt together in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

  4. Ladle the hot brine into the jars, leaving about 1/4 inch headspace. If you are not canning them, let the jars cool, then transfer to the fridge. Wait 2 - 3 weeks before eating.

  5. If you are canning, process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Store for at least 3 weeks before eating.

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