Okra is a divisive vegetable. I've personally never had a problem with the slime factor, but I know of many adventurous eaters who won't go near the green, finger-shaped veggie. Most Southern preparations either embrace the slime, using its thickening powers in gumbo and stews, or they do their best to mask it, coating slivers with cornmeal for a gloriously crisp fried crust. These roasted okra chips from Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart's Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking take an easier path: roasting. The hot oven crisps and caramelizes thin slices of okra, transforming the contentious vegetable into an addictive appetizer.
Why I picked this recipe: Okra screams Southern summer, and I was excited to try this new cooking method.
What worked: Roasting does indeed keep the slime at bay. I couldn't stop eating the chips off of the baking sheet.
What didn't: At 350 degrees, the okra didn't get quite as dark as I would have preferred. Next time, I'm going to bump the oven up to 400 or 425 for more efficient browning action.
Suggested tweaks: You could go crazy with seasoning these chips: anything from smoked paprika to garlic powder (or even brown sugar!) would be fine additions.
About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American and Berkeleyside NOSH, and she blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.