But alas, fall will be here Wednesday. But thankfully, in the South, we're still in summer produce for a few more weeks. I went to the Memphis Farmers Market on Saturday, and there were still stands bursting with juicy tomatoes, fresh okra, bell peppers, watermelon, fresh black-eyed peas, all the good summer veggies. I loaded up on fresh okra.
And tomatoes, which I promptly took home and boiled to remove the skins.
Then I got to work making fresh Stewed Okra & Tomatoes, a classic Southern dish. There's a version of this in Cookin' Crunk, but it's made with canned tomatoes. For this version, I used fresh tomatoes, plus some hot peppers from our front yard garden, which is still going gangbusters. Here's a pic of our tabasco peppers.
I used a few of these in the okra dish. I also pickled a bunch to make hot pepper vinegar, which I sprinkled liberally over the okra upon serving. Here's the finished dish!
Stewed Okra & Fresh Tomatoes
Yields 4 servings
5 fresh summer tomatoes
40 fresh okra pods, sliced, tops discarded
1-2 fresh tabasco peppers, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
Salt & pepper to taste
Hot pepper vinegar or hot sauce to taste
Place the tomatoes in a large soup pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 to 10 minutes or until the skins begin to crack. Drain and rinse tomatoes under cold water and remove the skins. Don't burn yourself!
Roughly chop the tomatoes, removing and discarding the tough center pieces. Add those to the soup pot, along with the okra, hot peppers, garlic, oil, sugar, and liquid smoke.
Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower heat to medium. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until okra is soft and tomatoes have cooked down. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with hot vinegar or hot sauce.