This easy and healthy dish screams “summer!” with its melange of tender okra, ripe cherry tomatoes, and fresh garden herbs. The water-saute method of cooking the veggies keeps it on the lighter side of things, making it a perfect dish to bring along to warm-weather potlucks.
- Seek out small, bright green, okra pods for best flavor and texture.
- If you make a bit too much to eat in one go, this dish also freezes very well. Just place over medium heat on the stovetop, adding a touch of vegetable broth to thaw.
- If you’re not a huge fan of heat, but love flavor, omit the cayenne pepper and cut the black pepper by half.
- If you don’t have pre-cooked quinoa handy (I like to make a big batch and freeze the excess for times like these), then prepare quinoa before the rest of the recipe. To cook 3 cups quinoa, simply bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan. Once boiling, stir briefly and then cover, reduce heat immediately to low and cook for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until fluffy and all water is absorbed.
Summery Okra & Quinoa Pilaf
- 3 cups cooked quinoa, salted lightly
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 15 small okra pods, sliced into rings
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 cup additional water
- 1 teaspoon additional sea salt
- 12 (about 2 cups) cherry tomatoes
In a large frying pan over medium high heat, combine onion, garlic, celery, salt, and 1/4 cup water and sauté until translucent and fragrant. Toss in the okra, oregano, basil, thyme, black pepper, white pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon sea salt.
Reduce heat to medium heat and let cook, covered, until okra is soft and the water has been absorbed, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Uncover and add in the cherry tomatoes and let cook until their skins are wrinkly, but not overcooked, about 2 minutes. Toss gently with cooked quinoa and serve hot.