Delicious Okra and Tomato Southern Recipe

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This delicious okra and tomato Southern recipe is so easy because it’s made in a skillet and the taste of farm-fresh vegetables can’t be beat.

Summer is the perfect time for an okra and tomato Southern recipe. I can’t get enough okra and tomatoes in summer. You can use them in so many ways. Cooking in the summer should be no~fuss and make use of the best summer vegetables.

At the beginning of the summer, I always say that I am going to cook more Southern food. Especially the vegetables that I can get at the Farmer’s Markets for farm~fresh taste and flavor.

I don’t think that anything says summer in the South more than okra and tomatoes (unless it’s corn and squash and peaches). This dish may be one of the easiest. It’s throw~in~a~skillet~and~cook easy. One~skillet~to~clean~up easy. Cast~iron~skillet easy. And delicious.

This okra and tomato Southern recipe just screams summer and Southern and fresh. Let’s get to it.

Delicious Okra and Tomato Recipe

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If you can, definitely try to buy your okra and tomatoes at your local Farmer’s Market. We have a few grocery stores that buy from local sources so try those too.

Okra and Tomato southern recipe

If you are lucky enough to raise your own veggies in the summer, even better. You just can’t beat home~grown vegetables like okra and tomatoes. We use basil from our own herb garden.

Okra and Tomato southern recipe

The Ingredients (Printable recipe is at end of post.)

You will need:

1 pound fresh okra
2 cups grape tomatoes, red, yellow, orange or combination
5 ~ 6 slices bacon
2 garlic cloves
1 cup medium chopped onion
1 jalapeño, serrano, or tabasco pepper
6 ~ 8 basil leaves

TIP: Only buy okra that is 2 ~ 3 inches long and gives a little when pressed between your fingers. Okra that is longer than 3 inches and firm to the touch will be tough. I’ve warned you!

Okra and Tomato southern recipe

Prepping Your Ingredients

Cook your bacon ~ I like to cook my bacon in the oven, especially when you need a large amount.

Pre~heat the oven to 375˚F.  Cover a sheet pan with foil (allow some overhang) and then set a cooling rack on the pan. Lay the strips of bacon on top. Cook until the desired doneness. You can turn the bacon over for more even cooking. When the bacon is done, remove the slices to paper towels to drain. Reserve the bacon grease.

Reasons for cooking bacon in the oven:

  • keeps your stovetop clean
  • the bacon doesn’t curl up
  • you don’t have to stand over the stovetop watching the bacon
  • you can cook more bacon in the oven than in a skillet
Okra and Tomato southern recipe

While the bacon is cooking, prepare the rest of your ingredients. This step is called mise en place. Everyone say, mis ~ n ~ pl~ah~s.

  • Medium dice the onion.
  • Peel and finely chop the garlic.
  • Halve the tomatoes.
  • Wash, trim and slice the okra into 1/2~inch slices.
  • Seed and dice your pepper.
Okra and Tomato southern recipe

Cooking the Okra and Tomatoes

Place your skillet over low heat and warm. Pour the bacon drippings into the skillet and heat for a few minutes. The bacon adds great flavor to our okra and tomato Southern recipe.

Add the onions and sweat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. “Sweat” is a culinary term, not a description of the heat in your kitchen.

NOTE:  Sometimes I use my deep cast iron Le Creuset skillet. It’s a heavy dude. It is one of my favorite skillets when I know I’ll be stirring or for a dish with lots of liquid, such as a braised chicken dish. A large cast~iron skillet would also be good to make this okra and tomato Southern recipe.

Okra and Tomato southern recipe

Next, turn the heat up to medium and add the sliced okra.  Stir until the okra is bright green. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of kosher salt .

Okra and Tomato southern recipe

Add the tomatoes and the chopped pepper. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to medium to medium~low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the okra is tender and the tomatoes have released their juices, about 20 ~ 30 minutes.

Lower your heat if it is bubbling too much. The mixture will thicken as it cooks. While the okra and tomatoes are cooking, crumble the cooked bacon.

TIP: Cooking okra at too high a temperature results in that slimy texture that gives okra a bad reputation.

Okra and Tomato southern recipe

Remove the skillet from the heat and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. The okra should be done but have a bit of a crunch to it, definitely not mushy. Add the crumbled bacon. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and add those to the dish. Give it a quick stir.

Hands up! You’re done!

Delicious Okra and Tomatoes

Summer Southern favorite using sliced okra with fresh tomaotes and bacon. Weeknight or for a party side dish.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy recipe, okra, sidedish, Southern recipe, summer vegetables, tomatoes

Equipment

  • cutting board
  • chef's knife
  • large skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh okra not longer than 3 inches
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, red, yellow, orange or combination sliced
  • 5-6 slices bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 cup medium diced onion
  • 1 jalapeno, serrano, or tabasco pepper
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  • Pre~heat the oven to 375˚F. Cover a sheet pan with foil (allow some overhang) and then set a cooling rack on the pan. Lay the strips of bacon on top. Cook until desired doneness. You can turn the bacon over for more even cooking. When the bacon is done, remove the slices to paper towels to drain. Reserve the bacon grease.
  • While the bacon is cooking, dice the onion.
  • Mince the garlic. Halve the tomatoes.
  • Wash, trim, and slice the okra into 1/2~inch slices.
  • Seed and chop your pepper
  • Place your skillet over low heat and warm. Pour the bacon drippings into the skillet and heat for a few minutes.
  • Turn the heat up to medium and add the sliced okra.  Stir until the okra is bright green. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of kosher salt.
  • Add the tomatoes and the chopped pepper. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to medium to medium~low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the okra is tender and the tomatoes have released their juices, about 20 ~ 30 minutes. Lower your heat if it is bubbling too much. The mixture will thicken as it cooks. While the okra and tomatoes are cooking, crumble the cooked bacon.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. The okra should be done but have a bit of a crunch to it. Add the crumbled bacon. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and add those to the dish. Give it a quick stir.

TIP: This dish still tastes good if it is at room temperature.

Serve it straight from the skillet.

Or serve in individual ramekins. I like to use my cute petite Le Creuset au gratin dishes. Mine are in Flame, but they come in so many colors and are so versatile

Okra and Tomato southern recipe

Summer okra is coming into the Farmer’s Markets and there is no time to waste. It’s only here for the summer. Here’s another super~easy way to prepare okra ~ grill it!

Be sure to PIN this recipe for your summer menus.

Okra and Tomato southern recipe
Okra and Tomato southern recipe
Okra and Tomato southern recipe

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Carol!
    Found your recipe via the Wine’d Down Wednesday link party – very glad I did! Great tip about cooking your bacon in the oven, I will be trying that one myself!
    Thanks!

    1. Lee~Ann, thanks so much for clicking over. Did I mention that cooking bacon in the oven also keeps your stove top clean? No splatters.

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