Fresh okra was available at the farmers’ market this weekend and I bought a sizable amount to enjoy. In the south this vegetable is often enjoyed breaded or battered and deep-fried. And I do like it served that way which provides textural interest to a summer mixed vegetable plate. But another well-loved dish that comes to mind is the Louisiana favorite–gumbo. Most gumbo recipes include some sort of meat protein and certainly do not need to include okra. What does seem consistent however, is that those that include okra usually omit the traditional flour paste roux. Okra has a thickening property that produces a similar result to that of the roux. My vegetarian version celebrates the bounty of midsummer.

For dessert, a peach pie that’s a bit different. The bottom crust is made of traditional pie dough, but the top is covered with crisp topping including ground pecans, brown sugar, flour, and butter.

Vegetable gumbo of onions, spicy peppers, celery, tomatoes, corn, summer squash, okra, and black-eyed peas with Cajun seasonings served over rice
Garden lettuce salad

Peach pie with crisp topping served with whipped cream