I swear, if the zombie apocalypse ever comes to Mississippi and I have to grow my own food, I’m growing okra. Not because I just love okra. But because the stuff will GROW!
My summer garden is pretty much caput at this point. I can’t complain. We had a very rainy summer; therefore, we had WAY more success with our garden than usual. In June and July, we had tomatoes and cucumbers coming out the wazoo. I now have enough jars of homemade spaghetti sauce to allow us to eat spaghetti twice a month for the next year (I am not kidding). The homemade dill pickles, on the other hand, don’t more than a few weeks as long as my husband is in the house.
We’ve reached late summer. The cucumbers and tomatoes have finally given out. The green bell peppers and okra are still going strong. My okra plants now reach higher than my head. I have 2 ½ gallons of okra frozen in my deep freezer for use in soups and stews this winter and for the rare occasion we get a hankering for fried okra. Still, it’s probable more than we will eat.
The Husband suggested I take a stab at pickled okra this year. He gave me free reign over the recipe. His only request was that I make spicy pickled okra. I found a fairly simple recipe which I was able to modify for his request. I make a big batch of brine and store it in the fridge. That way I’m able to quickly make jars as the okra is harvested.
I like to can my okra using the water bath method, but you can definitely store your okra in the refrigerator. Be aware, because okra is hollow on the inside, your brine levels in the jar will drop as the okra soaks up the brine. This won’t hurt a thing!
The three week “soaking” time can be maddening when trying out a new pickling recipe. I only make a few jars to start just to make sure my seasonings were spot on. Thankfully, the husband gave these the thumbs up and I’ve been pickling okra like a mad woman ever since. These would make the perfect garnishment for a Bloody Mary, meat and cheese plate, or just to snack on.
Spicy Pickled Okra
- 2 teaspoons dill seed
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dill weed or 1 large dill head per jar
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- ¼ cup dried onion
- 1-3 jalapeno or other hot peppers halved, seeded, then cut into strips
- 2 ¼ cups water
- 1 ¼ cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon salt
- 2-4 clean pint jars
- Fresh whole okra rinsed
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add peppers to suite your heat level. One pepper will give it a little bite.
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the salt is dissolved.
Pack okra into clean pint jars. Pour brine over the okra, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Place okra in the refrigerator or can using the water bath canning method.
Okra is ready to eat after three weeks.