Here’s another little bit of southern deliciousness for you today – Pickled Okra! You know I’ve been canning all summer. First there was some simply delicious Strawberry Jam, then I showed you how to make our favorite Kosher Dills followed by a good Basic Salsa recipe. We’re already enjoying all of those. I might even have to make a few more jars of the kosher dills if I can get my hands on any pickling cukes this late in the season.
But I couldn’t let the summer end without sharing my recipe for Pickled Okra. This is my personal favorite. I’ll breeze right by a dill pickle if there’s pickled okra around. I love it with a sandwich or just as an accompaniment to some good, old-fashioned southern vegetables. It’s also a great addition to an antipasto platter.
When I get ready to make pickled okra, I hand select every pod for the recipe. Really. I literally stand there in the produce aisle or the farmer’s market and choose every single pod. I want them to be young, tender and no longer than the depth of a pint jar. It usually takes between 1 1/2 to 2 pounds to make three pints. You’ll have to use your cook’s judgment based on the okra that is available to you. If you have leftovers, so much the better! Slice it, dredge it in some cornmeal and fry it up!
Start by preparing the jars, rings and lids according to standard canning procedure.
If you haven’t canned before, or if it’s been a while since your last canning session, please review the process and get all your equipment ready before you start. One of the best resources for new and seasoned canners alike is the Ball Blue Book. It’s published by the people who make the Ball canning jars. It’s available in lots of locations and on the web at amazon.com.
Some other good online resources are:
- National Center for Home Food Preservation (University of Georgia)
- Home Food Preservation Site (Pennsylvania State University)
- The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning
- “Some Canning Do’s and Don’ts” from The New York Times
- “Do’s and Don’ts for Successful Canning” from University of California
The National Center for Home Food Preservation even offers a free online course in food preservation. It’s well worth the time for the amount of information you get!
My recipe makes three pints. Feel free to double it if you want more!
Makes three pints:
1 1/2 to 2 pounds small, tender okra pods
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tsp. canning salt
3 tsp. dill seed
3/4 tsp. whole peppercorns
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
Wash the okra in cold water. Trim the cut ends only if necessary.
Get your spices ready. You’re going to need canning salt, dill seed, whole peppercorns and garlic cloves. Peel the garlic, but leave it whole. Umm…can you just pretend that there is some salt in that photo? It was sitting off to the side…oops.
Into the sterile jars, pack as many pods of okra as possible with the tips pointing up.
To each jar add 1 teaspoon of canning salt, 1 whole garlic clove, 1 teaspoon of dill seed and 1/4 teaspoon of whole peppercorns.
Finish packing the jars as fully as possible with additional okra, tips down, fitting the pods in tightly but taking care not to crush the okra.
Bring the vinegar and water to a boil. Fill jars with the vinegar and water mixture to within 1/4 inch of the rim.
Place the lids and rings on the jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars from the canner and allow them to cool completely. Notice the difference in color after they come out of the canner. The okra has taken on a beautiful olive green color.
Let the pickles sit for about a month to achieve the best flavor.
Other recipes for Pickled Okra from around the internet:
- Alton Brown’s version of Pickled Okra from the Food Network
- An old recipe for Lady Bird Johnson’s version called LBJ Ranch Pickled Okra
- Pickled Okra from Chef Rick’s Southern Cooking