Mammy’s Delicious Pickled Okra
Pickled okra is a great snack to have on hand for unexpected guests, sundowners, or family picnics. Not only is it light and healthy, it is also positively addictive. It’s very difficult to stop at just one.
As a Southerner, I practically jump for joy when I find gorgeous fresh okra in the market. This dainty green vegetable is one of the South’s most popular vegetables and is also widely used in my husband’s home country, Côte d’Ivoire.
Moreover, okra is low in calories and very nutritious. It is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, and is also rich in dietary fibre. So, okra is a very healthy snack.
Why Pickle Okra?
There are many delicious ways to prepare okra. However, pickled okra happens to be one of my favorites.
I had practically forgotten about pickled okra — which I haven’t made in 30 years — until I saw abundant supplies of gorgeous okra at the greengrocer. My husband was buying some for an African sauce. However, I couldn’t let him have all the fun!
I quickly scanned my mental database and realized I had never made my family pickled okra, a classic Southern cocktail food. I called this recipe Mammy’s pickled okra, because it is an old-fashioned recipe my maternal great grandmother (Mammy) would have loved.
Mammy was an excellent cook. And, as a good wife and mother of her time, June and August — especially August — were spent putting up nature’s bounty for the long winter ahead.
Nowadays, we get fresh produce year round — particularly in Johannesburg, where we are blessed with a Mediterranean climate and a long growing season.
So, pickling and preserving have gone out of fashion. While this is understandable, it is also very unfortunate. The flavors, textures, and nutritional profiles, of preserved foods are unique. They are also delicious.
Just imagine a world without kosher dills or cornichons! If we don’t preserve our pickling methods and traditions, our grandchildren could grow up in such a world. What a shame that would be!
Pickles and preserves are not just ways of extending the harvest, they are also the world’s first convenience foods. As a busy modern woman, coming home from the office to surprise cocktail guests is a challenge. However, a few jars of preserves — pickled cauliflower, okra, olives, and the like — in your pantry can be an absolute lifesaver.
Although this recipe is as old as time, it is not time consuming or complicated. All that is required of the cook is a little patience — to allow the pickles to cure — and your family can enjoy gorgeous okra year-round. This pickle, prepared now, would make a gorgeous and delicious addition to your holiday buffets and open houses. Give it a try. I’m certain you will love it as much as I do. Bon appétit!