Old-fashioned Okra and Tomatoes

I seldom eat okra, but I recently saw some beautiful okra at the local farmers’ market, and decided to give it a try. Then, of course, I had to find a hundred-year-old okra recipe. I found a delightful Okra and Tomatoes recipe in 1904 Kentucky cookbook, called The Bluegrass Cookbook.

The Okra and Tomatoes (and a little onion) were tasty, as well as easy-to-make and nutritious. One drawback – the okra had a bit of a gooey (some call it a slimy) texture; but that’s just par for the course for this vegetable.  No vegetable’s perfect.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: The Bluegrass Cook Book by Minnie C. Fox (1904)

And, there’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Okra and Tomatoes

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup okra, sliced

2 medium tomatoes

1/4 cup onion, diced

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Put okra in a saucepan, and add enough water to just barely cover it. Bring to a boil using high heat, then reduce heat to low and cook until tender (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat, and thoroughly drain.

In the meantime, put a pan of water on the stove; bring to a boil. Drop the tomatoes into the water for about 15 seconds: remove from heat and gently slip the skin off the tomatoes. Core tomatoes, then dice.  Put the diced tomatoes in a saucepan, and using medium heat cook 5 minutes while stirring frequently; then add onions. Continue cooking and stirring until soft and juicy (about an additional 5 minutes). Stir in butter, salt, and pepper. Add cooked okra, and stir gently to combine. Serve immediately.

Note: See the reader comments. Several readers suggested adaptations to this recipe that might improve the texture and make the okra less gooey.