For The Best Roasted Okra, Always Use Small Pieces

Oh, those yummy Southern green pods. You may be used to stir-frying okra, deep frying them, sautéing them, or prepping them for a good ol' gumbo. But if you've never roasted it, then you're in for a great treat. Roasting okra produces a rich seared flavor, and if you're not keen on okra's signature sliminess, you'll eliminate most of it with this method. 

Roasted okra is great for any meal: lunch, dinner, or even breakfast. You can eat roasted okra plain on its own or pair it with a protein like chicken, beans, lentils, or tofu. Serve it with a sandwich, and you have a quick and easy snack ready to go. However, to guarantee a fun crispy roast okra dish, you'll need to pay attention to a few key things. First, the kind of pods you cook is critical. Only use fresh okra that's bright green in color; avoid any with brown spots on them. But most importantly, go for small pieces of okra for the best roast dish. Here's why.

The smaller the okra, the better they'll roast

Small okra pods, no more than 2 to 3 inches long, are the best. They're tender and cook well by roasting, whether you're using a grill or a regular oven. On the other hand, larger pods tend to be fibrous, tough, or even woody. And before you get tempted to mix in the tiny soft pods with the giant-sized ones to even things out, don't. Different sizes of okra will require different cooking times, which means you'll end up with a dish where some of your okra are well cooked, and some are semi-cooked. 

So, now that you've carefully selected the small okras, wash and pat them dry, and cut off the ends. If you like, you can slice them in half lengthwise, only leaving the very tiny ones whole. Put them in a bowl, add olive oil and your favorite seasoning, then toss to coat every surface. Now spread the okra into one layer on a baking sheet and place it in a preheated oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Let it bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until soft with crispy brown edges, and they're ready to serve.