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Grilled Spiced Okra

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Ingredients

1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt

1 large garlic clove, peeled

Zest of one lemon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

6 wooden skewers, soaked in water

1 pound fresh okra pods

1–2 tablespoons peanut oil

Kosher salt

1 lemon for juicing

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried chile flakes

1 cup roasted, coarsely chopped peanuts

3–4 tablespoons chopped mint leaves

Directions

“Okra takes well to the flavors of India.  I love the flavor of the char combined with the tartness of the lemon and yogurt, the heat of the chile, the depth of the cumin, the sting of the raw garlic, the coolness of the mint, and the crunch of the peanuts.” 

– Chef Steven Satterfield of Miller Union

 

  1. Place yogurt in a small bowl and grate garlic clove with microplane into bowl. Add lemon zest and salt. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. If using charcoal grill, place mix of natural charcoal and pecan, apple, or hickory wood onto bottom grate and light. Let flames flare up and die down, about 20 minutes. If using gas grill, heat to medium-high.
  3. Wash okra and place on towel to dry. Arrange okra pods side by side on work
    surface with all tips facing same direction.
  4. Holding pods in place with one hand, thread skewer about ½-inch from top of each, leaving at least an inch or two on either side of skewer.
  5. Thread a second skewer about ½-inch from bottom of each pod. Repeat with more skewers until all pods are secured.
    Chef’s Tip /// A vegetable grill basket will keep okra from rolling around and slipping through the grates, but this double-skewer method works just as well.
  6. Brush okra “ladders” on both sides with peanut oil; sprinkle evenly with kosher salt and place on hot grill. Grill until pods begin to brown, about 2–3 minutes; flip and grill on other side. Transfer to platter and remove skewers.
  7. Squeeze fresh lemon over okra pods, then dust with cumin and chile flakes.
  8. To serve as vegetable side, layer yogurt, okra, peanuts, and fresh mint onto plate or platter. To serve as an appetizer, leave yogurt in a bowl and top with peanuts and fresh mint. Place okra around bowl and serve.
Okra Skewers
Satterfield's double skewer method prevents okra from shifting through the grates. Photo by Angie Moser
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