Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Okra Parmigiana

A Southern take on eggplant parmigiana using fresh summer instead of eggplant.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1½ pounds fresh okra pods, each about 3-4 inches long

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

¼ cup all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1½ cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion  and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes. Add oregano.

Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste.Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add parsley. Sauce will be thick. You can add a little water if you wish to thin it out.

Cut off cap end of okra pods and cut pods in half lengthwise. Combine bread crumbs and flour in a pie plate.

Dip okra pods in egg and then roll in bread crumb mixture to coat.
Add enough Vegetable oil to a large skillet to coat the bottom with about ¼-inch oil.

Heat over medium-high heat. Add half the okra and brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Turn heat down some if it is browning too quickly.

Drain on paper towels and immediately season the okra with some salt. Add more oil to skillet and cook remaining okra.

Coat bottom of prepared baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Layer ½ the okra in the dish and top with half of the tomato sauce. Repeat layers. Top with Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until bubbly and browned.